Do you really need to hire a private investigator to perform an asset search? Whether you have a divorce case, probate, or fraud case, more than likely, you can do it all yourself.

Back in the 70s and 80s, a private investigator was needed to do any kind of private investigation like a background check, asset search, or activity check. Today, most of these resources which used to be only accessible by private investigators, are all available online to the general public with a few exceptions. The key is to know how to navigate these resources to pull the information that you seek. In fact, most of the work that private investigators used to do is now obsolete thanks to new technology and data availability. Gone are the days when a PI would sit and wait for an activity update, all they have to do now is check social media. 

When do you need to hire a private investigator?

The three main reasons to hire a private investigator for an asset search are:

  • Convenience
  • Certified evidence
  • Surveillance


While you can do most of the things that a private investigator can do, that doesn’t mean you’ll want to do it all. A thorough asset search requires about 15-20 hours of labor to research, analyze, and compile the results, even for the experts. If putting in this level of effort isn’t ideal, a private investigator can take it off of your hands. 

Certified evidence

Depending on your case and the circumstances, the court may require that your evidence be certified by a licensed third party. If this is the case, any evidence you bring in personally will not be accepted. A licensed third party unrelated to the case must sign off that the evidence was properly vetted and obtained legally.


Most surveillance can be done in part through social media, but if your case requires in-person surveillance, consider hiring a private investigator to avoid complications. If you’re performing surveillance on a party you have a lawsuit against, it can easily be misconstrued as stalking or intimidation and will negatively affect your case. 

All in all, a typical asset search doesn’t demand the help of a private investigator. There are tools available to do it yourself. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may choose to hire a private investigator, but it’s not required. However, consider the time and labor involved before deciding to simply do it yourself. For more resources, check out our YouTube channel for instructions on how to perform different types of asset searches and other investigative tutorials.

Do It Yourself Asset Search

Looking for a way to do your own asset search? Active Intel offers a do-it-yourself option, allowing you to track down the assets of any person or business.