Property Ownership

A house

When you begin estate planning, it is important to understand property and the property rights associated with its ownership. The form of property ownership has an important impact on the degree of control during life, as well as how property will be taxed and distributed after death.

All estates are made up of property. It may be tangible property, intangible property, real property, or a combination of the three.

Tangible personal property is property that can be touched or felt, such as cars, stereo equipment, television sets, furniture, silver, china, clothing, or furs. Tangible personal property is often called personal effects or household goods.

Intangible personal property might include stock certificates, bond certificates, patents, trademarks, or copyrights. Cash, checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (often referred to as liquid assets) are also part of your property.

Real property is real estate and land and anything that is affixed or erected upon the land. It can include fences, barns, mineral or oil rights, and crops or timber, to name a few.