Sometimes people are concerned that their spouse is hiding money from them, or transferring funds. Maybe their role in the marriage hasn’t been the person who had knowledge of the estate, maybe their spouse was the one that invested the money and ran the financial part of the marriage. And now they’re very concerned because they don’t feel like they have adequate knowledge of their estate, and they’re concerned that maybe there’s bank accounts offshore, or something strange going on with money. That’s a common concern.
The good news is, usually they’re not doing anything strange with money. The other good thing to know is, it’s very difficult to effectively hide money. Unless someone is paid in cash, and they never put that cash in a bank account, and they are sticking it in the floor, it is very difficult to effectively hide money because there is going to be a trail. So, if you did a credit report, if you look at tax returns, if we pull all of their accounts, we’re going to be able to find that money. For example, let’s say the spouse receives a paycheck. Well if we don’t have an account where we see that paycheck being deposited, we know we’re missing an account. Once we see that account, maybe there’s transfers going out of it. Where are they going? We can almost always trace it. So, most people can relax, we will be able to find that out.
And in my experience, and I’ve done this a long time, most people are not hiding money. And I think that where the concern lies is perhaps the spouse has betrayed them in some other way, with an affair or something like that. So they go from fully trusting this person to not feeling like they even know this person anymore. And therefore they’re translating that lack of trust in one area to a lack of trust in another area, saying, “Look, if I can’t trust him/her, I thought I could trust them, but now I know they’re having an affair, maybe they’re also doing something strange with the money.” My experience is, most of the time, that doesn’t translate, that even though they aren’t trustworthy in the one area anymore, they may still be trustworthy in another area. But if not, we will find it, because there’s almost always a trail. So that’s something to rest assured in.