Lawyers are generally weird people, they look at things and life differently than you and not always with rose tinted lenses. I remember when still practising law asking a much in love couple sitting in my office for advice on a prenuptial agreement what happens when they get divorced? Now perhaps the word “when” was taking it too far and I saw absolute hatred in the woman's eyes and the husband-to-be made the sign of the cross twice and another sign I am sure was meant to be a friendly greeting just as he got into his car, unaware of the security cameras. My fees went up dramatically because of it. However, it is a good idea to look at risk first. Just before the US invaded Iraq a then junior general by the name of Petraeus asked: “Tell me how this ends?” and that floored everyone and we know now how it ended, chaos and defeat. We look at risk at JKLS all the time, we try to reduce it with compliance to the law and common-sense advice not to do stupid things. There are many examples.
Some business owners pride themselves in having financial records for the tax man and then the real one hidden away. Now firstly, you will sweat blood when the tax man gets you and he most probably will, your lifestyle and that of your wife will betray you. Then you will tell me it was not worth it to meet Bubba in a jail cell. It also reflects badly on your public statements that you are a deeply committed Christian but actually you are a cheat and criminal in outlook. Worse is when you sell that business and now there is a big difference between actual value (the real books) and what you can show to the buyer who wants to see the audited books. Also remember, since the US Enron débâcle, all auditors are required by law to report anything wrong they see and they will pick it up. Some said to me it is a sixth sense but such boring people don't have such things. No, it is experience, as I know when you trying to pull a fast one on me. We heard and saw it before, for years, we know.
Then there is another school of thought stating that your wife must never know your financial affairs. “It is dangerous if she does, and she may then want even more” or so they explain to me over a beer (alone). I think that is crap too. If you cannot trust your wife who can you trust? What are you hiding? When I wrote the book on how to deal with satan's people, the “hounds from hell” known to you as debt collectors (Your Worst Enemy, free of charge, always) I realised that a wife will mostly stand by her man in hard times. Yes, I get the cynical laughter too when you read this, not all of them. I am record also that most millionaires lose their money at age 48 (thank the Lord then I have nothing left to lose Friday coming) and with their money the wife walks. But in general I have seen more often than not a woman standing by her man and getting fearsomely protective as long as he stops being stupid with money. So open and honesty is the best policy. It is also a nice test, when I say to a woman, look, despite the books and degrees and websites I am actually rather poor, and she runs away (mostly) I am saved considerable anguish later on. In love it should not bother you if your soul is poor and if it does, in the wrong way, you are not souls. Yes, love can be very simple and should be. There are no grounds for grey areas either and souls never wonder about it, they only wonder how on earth they could be so lucky to have each other.
The one thing we know for certainty no matter what your religious believes is that you will die one day. You cannot really know when so it is very prudent to ensure your testament is sorted out and that your wife knows what to do. I wrote a short book on this called “Your Last Will & Testament” which talks also of the shysters trying to abuse your widow afterwards, you know, the sellers of gravestones, the financial investors and the gigolos descending on her besides her worst enemy, the banksters. It is all in the book and free of charge as is all my legal books, why, because such things are too important to ask money for. It will also show you what a simple testament (and they must all be simple or get professional help, not you banksters, my word, your attorney) looks like.
We speak of a “living will” which is where you are in a coma, you will not, according to two experienced doctors, ever wake up and you are brain dead. What now? What must your wife do? For me, the answer is “switch off the machines and let me go home to my wife where I want to be.” Whatever you decide must be known and respected. You need to talk to your wife about this. (I take for granted the man dies first, of course, with me, I was cruelly cheated, so is life.)
What about your passwords for your Facebook and other social media accounts? It must be closed now as seeing you on the screen all the time is a terrible shock for your wife and with Facebook creating a “memory” now and then (God knows why, it is memories you don't want or need) will be distressing to the surviving spouse. You have to give detailed information on these accounts and nominate someone to close them after your death. You don't need it anymore, really not, you are in a better place (I hope).
You should never rule from the grave. It is stupid. Give your wife her soul back which she entrusted to you when she fell in love with you. Now she can carry on and find someone else to make her happy whilst stuck on earth. There is no such thing as married couples in heaven, Jesus himself said so, accept it. Don't come up with crap like “she can inherit but only if she never marries again,” it is stupid and unlawful and will not be held up in court. The way the testament is drafted is extremely finicky in law, it is either right or wrong and hardly ever in between. That story of you sitting in front of a camera and tell what you want and trying to be funny doing so? Leave it to the movies, lawyers have no known sense of humour when working, it will be rejected. Get it done correctly and stay away from banksters, they must never ever draft your will and if you want to know why, read my book.
Remember that once you are departed you are not coming back, your chance to do things right is now, not then. Get your life sorted out before it is too late. It is the final act of love to do so. Your wife does not need further complications in dealing with your departure.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.