In context of probate, the estate of a deceased person consists of all the property, whether real or personal, owned by the person at the time of death. Assets that pass to somebody else by operation of law (for example, property held on a joint tenancy basis), do not form part of the deceased estate, even though the person had rights to that property during his or her lifetime. Also, if the deceased owned life insurance and nominated a beneficiary of the policy, the proceeds of that policy would not pass into the deceased’s estate, but would go directly to the nominated beneficiary. Similarly, superannuation death benefits can go directly to a deceased’s dependent, bypassing the deceased’s estate. (See will and intestacy) The estate of a deceased person is administered by an executor (in the case of a will) or administrator (in the case of intestacy). The function of the executor and administrator is to protect the assets of the estate, pay out all expenses and the decedent’s liabilities and distribute the balance in accordance with the directions in the will.
An estate (or decedent estate) is a legal entity created as a result of a person’s death.
The estate consists of the real and/or personal property of the deceased person.
The estate pays any debts owed by the decedent and distributes the balance of the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries of the estate.
An estate arises on a person’s death whether the person died with or without a will.