Posted by Fletcher Accounting and Tax Service Inc.

Gross Estate: What Are They and What Do You Need To Know About Them

Gross Estate: What Are They and What Do You Need To Know About Them

You will first need to calculate the value of your gross estate before you can calculate your estate tax liability. For your estate tax purposes, here are some of the following assets that will be included in your gross estate:

Bank Accounts

This includes checks, savings, money markets, and CDs. The entire value is included if the account is under your name (payable on death accounts is included) or if it’s in your Revocable Living Trust. On the other hand, 50% of the value is included if the account is in joint names with your spouse with rights of survivorship. If the account is a joint account with someone aside from your wife with rights of survivorship, unless it can be proven that the other owners gave contributions to the account, then 100% of the value is included. Only your proportionate interest is included if the account is in joint names as tenants in common.

Investment Accounts

This includes brokerage accounts and mutual funds. If the account is in your sole name (including payable on death accounts) or if it’s in your Revocable Living Trust then the entire value will be calculated. With the rights of survivorship and the account is in joint names with your wife then 50% of the value will be included. On the other hand, the entire value will be included if you have an account with joint names other than your wife and of course with rights of survivorship but that’s if the other party can prove that they gave contributions to the account. If the account is under a tenancy in common, then only your corresponding interest will be included. 

Stocks and Bonds held in Certificate Form 

The entire value is included if the stock or bond is under your name or if it’s in your Revocable Living Trust. On the other hand, 50% of the value is included if the stock or bond is in joint names with your spouse with rights of survivorship. If the stock or bond is a joint account with someone aside from your wife with rights of survivorship, unless it can be proven that the other owners helped in purchasing the stock or bond, then 100% of the value is included. Only your proportionate interest is included if the stock or bond is in joint names as tenants in common.

U.S. Saving Bonds

The entire value will be included if the bond is in your sole name (including payable on death accounts) or if it’s in your Revocable Living Trust. With the rights of survivorship and the bond is in joint name with your wife then 50% of the value will be included. On the other hand, the entire value will be included if you have an account with joint names other than your wife and of course with rights of survivorship but that’s if the other party can prove that they gave a hand in purchasing the bond. If the bond is under a tenancy in common, then only your corresponding interest will be included. 

Personal Effects

This includes furnishing and furniture, your clothing and jewelry, collectibles and antiques, books and artworks, guns, computers and TV, and many more. 

Automobiles, Boats, and Airplanes

The entire value is included if the vehicle is under your respective name solely or in your Revocable Living Trust. Only 50% of the value will be included if the vehicle is in joint names with your spouse.  However, the entire percentage of the value will be included, if the vehicle is in joint name with someone other than your spouse provided that the other party helped in purchasing the vehicle.

Monies that you owe

Personal loans you’ve made, mortgages held by you, and wages, bonuses, commissions and royalties you owed at the time of your death are included. 

Life Insurance

Only the cash value is included if you own the policy in someone else’s life however, 100% of the proceeds are included if you own the policy on your life. 

Retirement Accounts

Roth and Traditional IRAs, Simple and SEP IRAs; 401(k)s; 403(b)s and annuities are included and 100% of its value. 

Fletcher Accounting and Tax Service Inc.
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