Understanding Your Estate

What is Considered Part of Your Estate?

Your “estate” includes every asset you own or in which you hold an interest, including real property, investments, business interests, insurance proceeds, personal property, and possessions. If you jointly own an asset with another party, your share is considered part of your estate. For example, married couples often hold title to property as “Separate Property” or under “Joint Tenancy.” Understanding the difference before one person dies or becomes ill is essential for keeping your family protected when circumstances change.

  • As Separate Property: one spouse owns the entire property, which was usually acquired before marriage or was inherited by that spouse during the course of the marriage.

Under Joint Tenancy: ownership is shared, and when one owner dies the other owner(s) automatically acquires that person’s interest in the property.