Locating missing estate assets

The biggest problem confronting executors and administrator is locating missing assets.
All searches can be broken down three (3) categories: (A) Direct searches (B) Professional searches (C) Private investigator searches.

A. The direct search consists of:
1. Searching the decedent’s papers, bank records and safe deposit box. Today you will need a court order to search a safe deposit in a bank.
2. Searching the NYS Office of Unclaimed Funds. This is paramount in your direct search.
3. Visit all banks and financial institutions located within one square mile of the decedent’s home or office to see if they have any accounts.

B. Professional searches.
You should contact the professionals that the decedent had relationship with to ascertain their specific knowledge as to the financial institutions the decedent had accounts. The decedent’s attorney or a former attorney would know if the decedent had set up any trusts, formed LLCs or Corporate entities, etc. The decedent’s accountant or financial planner would have valuable personal knowledge of the location of the decedent assets.  If the decedent held tax free bonds, they would not appear on the decedent’s tax returns.

C. Private investigators searches:
A good private investigator can locate assets better than any other professional. Today’s investigators have tools that make most searches broad reaching and surprisingly economical to accomplished. Using the internet, an investigator can complete exhaustive searches in minutes that previously took days, and at a fraction of the cost.
As an experienced Estate Attorney, I can supervise an asset search to ensure the recovery of all the decedent’s assets. Call for an appointment today.

For more information call or email me at 212-693-3737 or j.weinstein@jlwlawoffices.com