Tip for finding hidden assets in divorce

BVWireIssue #196-1
January 9, 2019

marital dissolution/divorce
divorce valuation, marital dissolution, marital estate

Parties to a divorce often play hide-and-seek with assets so the valuation expert often has to help ferret them out. This is not always an easy task.

What to do: Ask for “everything,” meaning all documents related to anything that involves the divorcing parties as either beneficiaries or fiduciaries. This includes trusts, estate plans, and wills—including the wills of other individuals (such as the spouses’ parents) in order to see whether the spouse will inherit anything. Be as broad as possible in your request and be aware that you may not always get everything you ask for but you need to ask anyway.

Tax returns, particularly trust and estate returns, can provide a wealth of information to valuation experts, but you have to know where to look, explained valuation expert Barry S. Sziklay (Friedman LLP), at the AAML Divorce Conference a few years ago. He will be at this year’s conference, co-presented by BVR, which will be in Las Vegas May 8-10. Sziklay and attorney Michael Sardar (Kostelanetz & Fink LLP) will do a session on hidden offshore assets. For more information on the conference and to register, click here.
Please let us know if you have any comments about this article or enhancements you would like to see.