On December 7, 2010, Elizabeth Edwards passed away after a four year battle with cancer.  Elizabeth Edwards, attorney, mother, wife of politician, made her mark on the world by maintaining grace and hope during what many may feel was a very low point in her life.  In 2007, during the course of John Edward’s infidelities, Elizabeth Edwards, was diagnosis with stage IV breast cancer.  Despite her husband’s affair and rumors of a love child, the Elizabeth remained together during the 2007-2008 presidential nomination campaign.  However, after Edwards’ January 21, 2010, admission that he fathered a child with his mistress, Elizabeth legally separated from her husband.  Over the course of her battle with cancer, Elizabeth has remained true to herself by fighting the disease and continuing to spread her message of hope.  When asked by Matt Lauer how she wished her children would remember her, Elizabeth Edwards said she hopes her children will think, “She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her away, and surely it has not, she adjusted her sails.”  Full Story

Elizabeth Edwards passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, including estranged husband John Edwards, her siblings, friends and her three children: 28-year-old Kate, 12-year-old Emma Claire and 10-year-old Jack.  Although Elizabeth was legally separated from John Edwards, John is still entitled to a portion of Elizabeth’s estate as a surviving spouse because the divorce was never final.  Had Elizabeth passed away with out a Last Will and Testament, the North Carolina Laws of Intestacy provide that John receive $30,000 plus ¼ of the remaining estate, and each of her three children would receive ¼ of the remaining estate after John’s $30,000 is paid.  This is much different, under New York law.  If Elizabeth’s estate was probated in New York, John would receive $50,000 and ½ of the remaining balance of the estate.  Elizabeth’s three children would receive equal shares of ½ of the remaining estate after John received $50,000.  It is important to consider updating your Estate in the event you separate from your spouse.  It may cost your children their inheritance should you neglect to update your estate planning and pass before your divorce comes final.

The attorneys at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C. know that getting a divorce can be a very difficult time for both spouses and their children.  Dealing with the emotional aspect further complicates the logistics of getting divorced.  The law firm of Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C. have represented clients in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island.  For any questions concerning divorce or other domestic relations matters, contact an attorney at the Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-888-556-2529. Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C.’s divorce website is located at www.lbdivorcelaw.com.