Tracing Assets – There is a Way to Do this Without Going Crazy

By LawReader Senior Editor Stan Billingsley

If you are handling an estate or a divorce, or dissolution and valuation of a business, you may be required to prove how the money went from one account to another, or more likely from numerous accounts to many other accounts.

If a party had marital assets that were commingled, you may need to show the method by how this was done.  Stock and bonds etc. when sold may end up in other forms, and you may need to demonstrate this to the court.

Recently I mediated a case in which one of the parties solved this problem by using the services of an accounting firm.  The firm was DMLO, Deming, Malone Livesay & Ostroff, CPAs of Louisville. (See contact info below)

Their representative, Richard K. Peterson, CPA came to the mediation with a report that was about 25 pages long.  The report made short work of many issues, and provided strong evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim. His presence was beneficial as he was able to detail to the defendant and his counsel, the methods and results of their investigation. 

The parties involved, where concerned with tracing a very large sum of money from the estate of one spouse to that of the other.  This required a search of numerous accounts, retirement funds, CD’s, etc.  Their professional report provided the plaintiff with a powerful bit of evidence that couldn’t be easily ignored.

I can’t say how much they charge for their services, but without their work the plaintiff’s case would have been almost impossible to prove.  So in the right case, where the assets are substantial, you may find such a service as essential.

Not many attorneys are trained to trace assets in and out of different accounts and investments.  LawReader suggests you make life easy for yourself, and improve your chances of winning your case, by using the service of professional accountants who have experience in the tracing of assets.

We were impressed by Mr. Peterson and the work done by DMLO.

They are located at  9300 Shelbyville Road, Suite 1100, Louisville.  Suite 1100, Louisville, Ky. 40222.  Phone 502-325-2316.

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