Greetings. Without a separation agreement or filing for equitable distribution and if one of you passes, the law treats you as if you were still married regarding estate laws. For estate law questions (dealing with inheritances, etc.) you will need to speak with an estate attorney.
If you have a separation agreement or an equitable distribution action filed, the property will be/remain divided and you will likely not be entitled to any of your spouse’s property.
No, there is no time frame when you have to file for divorce. The legal separation remains in existence for as long as you both remain living separate and apart and don’t get divorced. Best of luck and Happy Holidays!
Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.