Assets are anything of value that can be liquidated for cash. When it comes to searching for assets, you need to know what types of assets your prospect will likely have that you can search for. There are two main categories of assets: tangible and intangible. Tangible assets are those that you can touch, see and measure. Intangible assets are those that cannot be touched, seen, or measured. Both intangible and tangible assets could be subject to search if they provide some sort of benefit to the owner.
Tangible assets are those that can be seen, felt, or measured. These would include things like cash, jewelry, cars, and real estate. An example of a search for tangible assets would be a person owing child support who has a car that he purchased with cash.
Intangible assets are those that cannot be touched, seen, or measured. These would include things like intellectual property, patents, trademarks, copyrights, and royalties. A person that has invested in an invention and has a patent for it would have an intangible asset. A person who has the right to copyrighted work would have an intangible asset.
Securities and Investment Assets
These are investment assets that are transferable. Securities would include things like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. A person who has invested in a tech company and has shares of stock in that company would have an investment asset.
Real Estate Assets
Real estate assets are those that are found in buildings or on land. A person who owns a rental property would have a real estate asset. A person who owns property that has been in his family for generations would also have a real estate asset. A person who owns a piece of land would also have a real estate asset if it is zoned properly.
Artwork and Other Collectibles
Artwork and other collectibles have no intrinsic value but have value based on sentiment. A person who has artwork or other collectibles that have been passed down from generation to generation would have an artwork asset. A person who has purchased a work of art from a famous artist would also have an artwork asset.
Sports and Luxury Vehicles
These are tangible assets that have no intrinsic value other than their resale value. A person who owns a sports car or a luxury vehicle would have a sports and luxury vehicle asset. A person who owns a sports team would also have a sports vehicle asset.
Assets will often be a key part of the discovery process when litigation is involved. Issuers and holders of assets will be served with discovery requests to produce information about those assets. If you are reviewing discovery requests, you will want to know what types of assets you can look for when conducting a search. It is important to understand the different classes of assets that can be searched so you can make sure you are searching for all the assets that exist.