Chances are Hidden Assets Aren’t Buried in the BackyardI almost laughed the other day when I ran across an article providing instructions on how to bury valuables. At first, I thought it would be a humorous piece, and started to share it here in the office. But then we realized that it was a serious, step-by-step guide to squirreling away valuables in the ground so no one could locate hidden assets.

Here at International Investigators, we are known as a top Indiana Asset Search Investigator. We know how to find hidden assets through a statewide asset search as well as a nationwide asset search. We’ve even dabbled across the waters to locate off shore accounts and to find international accounts opened with the purpose of hiding money and other valuables.

One thing people don’t realize is that locating missing assets is not always centered on assets in divorce. Another common reason we are asked to find hidden money or locate hidden assets is regarding potential lawsuits. We may be asked to conduct an asset investigation to determine if a lawsuit is practical. Valuables become missing assets when someone is concerned about being sued. So they start moving funds and accounts and getting loans using valuables as collateral. A search for assets can uncover threads that begin unraveling as we locate hidden money or locate hidden stocks and bonds. Hidden retirement funds are another big area because sometimes younger people don’t even think about retirement funds – hidden or not.

But I keep thinking about the idea of burying valuables in the ground. That would not only mean it would have to be a secret, but the digger wouldn’t be able to use the money and that’s one of the things that we see happen in our asset investigation experience.

People may want to hide their assets, but it isn’t long before they want to use some of it and then all of a sudden unknown bank accounts or other unknown assets start popping up. One time a man’s bank account showed a payment for a boat license. The ex-wife wondered what boat was being licensed – they never owned a boat. Well, she never knew he owned a boat, but he did – and had for several years. Yes, it was a one of those unknown assets – and no, it wasn’t disclosed in the assets in divorce court.

Burying assets in the back yard may seem like it would be easier to hide, but I wonder how many people can keep a secret like that – without telling just one other person. But there is that chance – so when you move into a new house, will you wonder if there is any buried treasure there – forgotten and waiting to be claimed. Nah, we won’t either.

-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators

-B. McGinley, Director of Operations, International Investigators