there is prospective client from Russia. He asked me as follow: My dad died 1.5 yrs ago. I have court order that I am only legitimate heir. By the rumors dad had some property in USA. Is there any way to find out what he had (property, bank accounts)? How it works? Do I need attorney? or some company can locate the assets?
Ms. James advises you correctly. Beyond that, one of the nice things about real property and about bank accounts (in addition to their monetary value) is that they leave somewhat of a paper trail -- for real property, there will be checks written toward the purchase, perhaps mortgage payments, property tax bills, maybe water bills, and the like. For bank accounts, there will probably be monthly or quarterly statements, interest statements, and similar types of documents.
If you know the general geographical area in which the decedent may have purchased real property, you can check with the county land recorder in those areas.
An attorney will, of course, have certain tools (and data bases) available that may not be available to you. So you may want to engage an attorney.
Good luck to you.