Your “estate” includes all of your assets. This could include assets held in your name alone or held jointly with others. It also includes property that you may not use during your lifetime, such as the proceeds from an insurance policy or retirement plan proceeds that remain at your death.
Here’s a list of the following assets that are part of your estate:
The value of your estate is the “fair market value” of all of your assets (before deducting for debts, mortgages, obligations, etc.).
The value of your estate is important in determining whether your estate will be subject to probate, subject to estate taxes after your death, and whether your beneficiaries could later be subject to capital gains taxes. It’s also important to know, and to what extent, if your estate will have the resources available to pay for your financial and medical expenses in the event of your incapacity. As part of the estate planning process, it’s crucial to ensure that there will be sufficient resources to pay for any necessary expenses and to make sure your loved ones will be taken care of.
About the Author
Christine Chung, Esq.