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These 3 tips help you find hidden or missing assets

One of the things that can make moving on after a loved one's death difficult is being unable to locate his or her assets. When you can't locate assets, it could make it hard to finalize the estate plans. It could also mean that someone has taken advantage of your loved one, which is something you want to clear up right away.

How can you locate a decedent's hidden or missing assets? There are a few different things you can try including looking at your loved one's personal paperwork, safes and other potential hiding spots.

1. Looking in paperwork gives you clues

When you look through a person's documents, they can give you an idea about what kinds of assets the person had. If there is a large transaction at an unusual point or you find a key to a lock box, then that might be the hint you need to locate the assets you were trying to find.

2. Check out personal safes

If you find a key to a safe at a bank, or if you know there is a safe at the home that has been unopened, it's time to look inside for the assets that are missing. Whether it's money or antiques, many people hide assets that are valuable in safes. You may even find hidden safes in the floors of the home, behind (or in) books, in closets or other unusual locations.

3. Seek assets in unusual hiding spots

Have you never been into the basement of your mom or dad's house? Now might be a good time to look. Has the fireplace oddly never worked for years? There could be a reason your parents refused to turn it on. Check unusual spots for assets, and you may end up turning up something you didn't expect.

These are a few places you can look for hidden assets. Give it a shot, and see what you turn up.

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