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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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


The assets owned by a person at the time of death. See also gross estate.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


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.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


(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.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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.
Copyright © 2008 H&R Block. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission from H&R Block Glossary
References in periodicals archive ?
(313) Higher estate and gift taxes with lower exemptions could instigate more estate planning using trusts, particularly IDGTs that allow grantor's to freeze estate values, and ILITs to remove insurance policies from the grantor's estate. (314) By encouraging a tax plan that raises estate and gift taxes while decreasing the exemptions, the South Dakota trust industry could benefit.
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. (15)
Other than that, the same pitfalls apply--i.e., no $11,000 exclusion since no one but the grantor has a present right to the property, and the grantor must live out the term or the residence will be included in the grantor's estate at its fair market value on date of grantor's death.
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.
If the grantor survives the term, the trust fund is not included in the grantor's estate. Should the grantor die before the present interest expires, nothing but transaction costs have been lost since the entire value of the stock must be included in the grantor's estate,(7) a result which would have occurred in the absence of the deferred gift.
Failure to pay rent can cause the property to be includible in the grantor's estate under Sec.
If the grantor has certain rights or too much control, the trust will be included in the grantor's estate upon death.
Prior 1RS guidance established that the substitution power will not result in trust assets being included in the grantor's estate for estate tax purposes.
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.
2008-16 (28) it ruled that such a provision by itself will not cause a trust's assets to be includible in the grantor's estate. The DAPT's governing instrument also prohibited the trustee from reimbursing the grantor for the income tax the grantor was required to pay by reason of the inclusion of the DAPT's income in the grantor's income.