DEFINITION of 'Estate'

All of the valuable things an individual owns, such as real estate, art collections, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, investments and life insurance.


The value of a personal estate usually becomes very important upon the death of the person in question. Those in line for inheritance often have to pay an inheritance tax on the estate. This tax can be very large, forcing the beneficiary to sell some of the inherited assets in order to pay the tax bill.

  1. Custodial Agreement

    An arrangement whereby one holds an asset or property on behalf ...
  2. Beneficial Interest

    The right to receive benefits on assets held by another party. ...
  3. Bona Vacantia

    A legal term for the situation in which property is left without ...
  4. Homestead Exemption

    Laws designed to protect the value of a home from property taxes ...
  5. Estate Tax

    A tax levied on an heir's inherited portion of an estate if the ...
  6. Escheat

    The transfer of title of property or an estate to the state when ...
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  1. How much money does Texas make from unclaimed property each year?

    In 2014, the office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reported $234 million in unclaimed property claimant liabilities, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How much money does Michigan make from unclaimed property each year?

    According to the 2013-2014 Annual Report of the State Treasurer, the state of Michigan earned only $82,875 in abandoned and ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Who decides if a financial security should be escheated?

    There is no one entity who "decides" to escheat assets. Rather, financial institutions are required to report inactive accounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What causes a stock account to be escheated?

    Your state government may be able to escheat your stock account or another financial asset if the account or asset is deemed ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are 401(k) accounts escheatable?

    Typically, 401(k) plans are not subject to state escheatment laws because they are covered under the Employee Retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are IRA accounts escheatable?

    Traditional IRA accounts, like any other financial asset held at a bank, investment or brokerage firm, can be escheated by ... Read Full Answer >>

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