During the 2004 Presidential elections, Elizabeth Edwards learned she had breast cancer. After beating her first bout with cancer, her cancer returned in 2007. She decided to undergo further medical treatments and during her therapy, she learned of her husband’s affair. His affair became national news, and she separated from him following his public admission of his extramarital affair and fathering an illegitimate child. Less than a year later, Elizabeth died when her cancer quickly spread to her vital organs.
Elizabeth Edwards did not want to divorce her husband but instead chose to live apart from him. Because she did not divorce him, he can still benefit from the state’s elective share statute allowing him to receive a minimum share of her estate preventing her from completely disinheriting him. Controversy followed her death, and we learned that she expressly disinherited her husband in her new will created only days before her death. Elizabeth Edwards also had a trust, and although her will is public information, her trust is not. As such, we may not know the terms of her trust and whether John is a beneficiary of her trust. However, John Edwards is worth at least $30 million, and it seems unlikely that he would further damage his public image by fighting her beneficiaries for a portion of her estate.