You won’t believe the penalty just imposed against the widow of the late president of Zimbabwe. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A Zimbabwe court just fined the widow of the country’s late president five cows and two goats—there’s something you don’t hear in the US—because she buried his body in the courtyard of his home even though, according to the court, his immediate family should have chosen his resting place—oh, wait, that does sound exactly like the US, where families sue over the right to choose where to bury a loved one. 

State laws vary, but in general the right to determine the method and place of burial is the person who has now passed—so, you should write and notarize your wishes before you die, and then let people know so there’s no court dispute later. If the person hasn’t left any instructions, the current spouse usually gets to decide, and if there isn’t one, the right goes to the children. And in the US, the penalty for that beef isn’t measured in cows, but in tears.

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