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Checklist of Easily Overlooked or Hidden Assets

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Feb 11, 2010 | 0 Comments

When parties divorce, there are certain things that immediately come to mind that must be divided, such as bank accounts, equity in the house, retirement accounts, etc. However, there are also any number of easily-overlooked or hidden assets that should also be addressed.

One of the benefits of having an experienced attorney is that he can help you identify, locate, and value these hidden assets.  The following is a list of items that should not be overlooked in property settlement or division cases:

  • Frequent flyer mileage
  • Security deposits (e.g., utilities, car lease)
  • Timeshare property
  • Leased vehicles, cell phone, other items
  • Stock options
  • Memberships (e.g., country club)
  • Bond or deposit for country club
  • Unused vacation, sick leave
  • Patents, copyrights, royalties
  • Income tax refunds
  • Income tax capital loss carry-forwards
  • Income tax charitable contribution carry-forwards
  • Marketable government licenses (radio licenses, commercial fishing quotas)
  • Special retirement benefits (“golden parachutes”)
  • Retirement – life insurance benefits
  • Retirement – medical benefits
  • Retirement – survivor benefits
  • Hobby or other collections
  • Contract rights from marital employment (e.g., insurance renewal payments for agent)
  • Affiliation “rewards” programs (e.g., points or discounts for credit card use)
  • Entertainment tickets, season ticket options
  • Business vehicle for personal use
  • Prepaid rent, leases, subscriptions
  • Burial plots
  • Life insurance cash surrender value (or perhaps death benefit if insured is elderly)
  • Tort, worker's comp claims
  • Stock options
  • Hangar lease (for aircraft)
  • Hotel or credit card points
  • Cash
  • Small business retained earnings
  • US Savings Bonds, other securities
  • “Hidden value” items – rare items of personal property (e.g., antiques), rare pets, collectibles
  • Options to purchase property
  • Unpaid commissions on deals set to close
  • Referral fees (e.g., for personal injury lawyers)
  • Security or performance bonds posted
  • Car insurance prepaid
  • Taxes prepaid

Source:  “Your Spouse's “Hidden” Assets – A Checklist” by Steve Worrall, published at his Georgia Family Law Blog.

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J. Benjamin Stevens

Senior Partner


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