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The assets that a person owns when he/she dies. The estate includes all personal property, real estate, securities and other assets. The estate is used to repay all of the person's outstanding debt. After debts are repaid, the estate may be taxed, depending on the value of the remaining assets. After all debts and taxes are repaid, the estate is distributed according to the provisions of the decedent's will and/or state law.


The assets owned by a person at the time of death. See also gross estate.


Your estate is what you leave behind, financially speaking, when you die. To figure its worth, your assets are valued to determine your gross estate.

The assets may include cash, investments, retirement accounts, business interests, real estate, precious objects and antiques, and personal effects.

Then all your outstanding debts, which may include income taxes, loans, or other obligations, are paid, and those plus any costs of settling the estate are subtracted from the gross estate.

If the amount that's left is larger than the amount you can leave to your heirs tax free, you have a taxable estate, and federal estate taxes may be due. Depending on the state where you live and the size of your taxable estate, there may be additional state taxes as well.

After any taxes that may be due are paid, what remains is distributed among your heirs according to the terms of your will, the terms of any trusts you established, and the beneficiaries you named on certain accounts -- or the rulings of a court, if you didn't leave a will.


(1) All the property of a person who has died. (2) The degree,quantity,nature,and extent of legal interest that a person has in real and personal property.The most common estates are

1. In fee simple absolute. This is the greatest degree of ownership possible, in which a per- son owns all rights to a property and may freely dispose of them to purchasers or heirs.

2. At sufferance. In this type of estate a tenant continues to retain possession past the expi- ration of the lease.

3. At will. A tenant is put into possession by the owner of land, but the possession may be terminated at the will of the owner.

4. By the entirety. This is a joint estate held by two persons who are married to each other at the time of creation and which cannot be destroyed by either one of them or by the credi- tors of the other. In some states, a divorce court may not even divide the property, but the parties must agree on its disposition.

5. For life. In this estate, someone has an interest in property that lasts only as long as some life named or described in the granting instrument.

6. For years. This is typically a lease.

7. In remainder. In this type of estate a person takes property after the death of a person with a defining life in a life estate.

8. In reversion. That portion of an estate that remains in a grantor who transfers less than full ownership of a property. For example, if the owner of property transfers a life estate to another, the owner retains an estate in reversion and will regain full ownership when the life tenancy ends. If that future interest were also transferred to another, it would be called a remainder, but since it is retained by the grantor it is called a reversion.

9. In severalty. This term can be confusing, because it means the opposite of our common understanding of the word “several.” An estate in severalty is an estate owned by one person, alone.


This term is most commonly used for a taxable entity that is established upon the death of a taxpayer. It consists of all the decedent's property and personal effects. The estate exists until the final distribution of its assets to the heirs and other beneficiaries. During the period of administration, the executor must usually file a return. An estate is also created when a taxpayer files bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or CHapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.
References in periodicals archive ?
318) The ten-year GRAT term would increase the risk that grantors might die before the expiration of the GRAT term, which would cause the assets to be included in the grantor's estate.
In addition, the value of the remaining 50% of trust corpus, less the present value of the child's life estate, is includable in Grantor's estate because Grantor retained the right to 100% of trust income if Grantor survived child.
If the trust must reimburse the grantor for income tax paid on the trust income, the grantor is considered to have retained a right to trust income causing the trust to be included in the grantor's estate.
If the grantor dies before the trust term expires, the date-of-death value of the QPRT will be included in the grantor's estate and subject to estate taxes.
Assets in the trust will generally not be included in the grantor's estate because exercise of the power is limited by an ascertainable standard.
Yet, the grantor will have no control of the assets, and the assets may or may not be included in the grantor's estate upon death.
In Revenue Ruling 2008-22, the 1RS came to the general conclusion that a grantor's substitution power will not cause trust assets to be included in the grantor's estate.
Moreover, to keep the death proceeds out of the grantor's estate, the grantor retains no rights in the trust or life insurance purchased by the trustee.
section] 453A(b); and 3) there could be income in respect of a decedent at the death of the grantor as to promissory note payments by the trust to the grantor's estate.
Also, buying the policy inside of the IDGT assists the trustee in paying the grantor's estate tax burden without having to worry about gift taxes.
Further, the entire value of the Section 2503(c) trust will be includable in the grantor's estate if the grantor is the trustee at the time of his death.
The grantor could not cause an incomplete gift or inclusion in the grantor's estate, but did have sufficient powers to cause grantor trust treatment.