What is Included in an Estate?

Estate planning is an important step of ensuring your family is cared for upon your death. While you may understand the importance of estate planning, you may be unsure of what your “estate” actually includes. The word “estate” may conjure ideas of lavish homes and great wealth, but this is not always the case. Almost every person leaves behind property upon their death, and that property constitutes an estate. Identifying exactly what is included in your estate can help you begin the process of planning and protecting your loved ones.

Financial Assets

A person’s estate will include all of their financial assets. This may include cash, bank accounts, stocks, and other investments. By creating a will or a similar document, a person can define how they would like their assets to be handled upon their death. The responsibility of handling their finances may be transferred to another person, their assets may take a new form, finances could be donated to a charity of the deceased person’s choosing, or an heir could inherit the returns.

Real Estate Property

Real estate property in an estate, also known simply as “real property,” includes the homes, vacation houses, rental properties, and land owned by a person upon their death. When a person dies, the ownership of real properties can be transferred to somebody else as defined in the deceased person’s will. A person may use their will to outline instructions to sell their real property upon their death.

Personal Property

Personal property is all other property that is not considered as real estate. This may include cars, jewelry, antiques, and other items. Personal property does not only include expensive items. A deceased person’s clothes, books, and other non-expensive items could be listed in a will if they wish to give them to another person upon their death. Instructions for what to do with personal property may not be defined in a will if the deceased person did not have any specific wishes for how they should be handled. FInancial assets are often considered as personal property as well.

The Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C. legal team can assist you with all of your estate planning needs. Contact us today for help with the estate of yourself or a loved one.

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