What is meant by my ‘estate’?

In basic terms your estate is everything you own, less anything you owe. So that’s your property, money, investments, vehicles and possessions, less your debts for example: money owed on loans, mortgages or to the tax man.

Most of the things you own can be dealt with in your will, the main exceptions are:

  • Money held in joint accounts – which will automatically go to the other account holder.
  • Property which is owned on a joint tenant basis – where your share of the property will go to the other owner.
  • Financial products such as pensions and life insurance policies which will have their own rules on what happens to them when you die.

Find out more in our ‘What can’t be left in a will?’ article.