An estate consists of all the property a person owns or controls, whether in his or her sole name, held in a partnership, in a joint ownership arrangement, or through a trust, and all other monies that would be generated on the person’s death, such as through life insurance.

An estate includes:

  • Life insurance, pension benefits, annuity contracts, IRAs, all debts and obligations owed to others real property and things attached to it (houses, buildings, barns, etc.);
  • All personal property (including automobiles, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, stock options, cash, furniture, jewelry, art, collectibles, etc.);
  • All businesses and business interests (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, joint ventures, and the goodwill, inventory, tools and equipment, accounts receivable, and other business property, etc.);
  • Powers of appointment (the right to direct who gets someone else’s property); and,
  • Claims you have against others.