What is an estate and estate planning?

An estate is the property that you own which may include real estate, bank accounts, investments, insurance benefits, annuities, retirement plans, and other assets. Determining what this all includes is part of your estate planning, which is coming up with a plan for how your estate will be handled on the account of your death so that the State does not decide or control this for you. Gifts, wills, and trusts are all part of this process.