In the succession process, a specific part of the estate is transferred to heirs or beneficiaries. But, what does that portion of the estate include? The estate is everything a person possesses, both as an individual and a member of society, before it is distributed to the beneficiaries. An estate includes bank accounts, stock, real estate, jewelry, life insurance, investments, and other assets. Debts and pending liabilities are also part of a person’s estate. Upon death of its owner, an estate is distributed among the beneficiaries or heirs, based on specific instructions left in a will or a letter of wishes in a trust fund. If a will or trust are not set up, succession and distribution of assets will be determined based on legal provisions, which might not necessarily be aligned with the wishes of the trustor. In addition, if the trustor does not have an effective estate planning tool, there might be significant tax consequences.