Asset Types

Show Table of Contents

When you define an asset, you are asked to specify its type (e.g., Stock, Vehicle, Jewelry, etc.), which EstateExec uses to intelligently determine relevant tasks, asset cost base, likely probate status, and more.

Asset types are generally self-explanatory, but here are some helpful tips:

  • Annuity: An annuity is an investment that pays a fixed amount every year. Its adjusted cost base can depend on a variety of factors, including how it was funded, who receives the payout, and how, so EstateExec will ask you to manually provide the relevant ACB (see Annuity ACB).
  • Bonds: Also includes bond funds.
  • Brokerage Account: There's no need to list every single stock individually for the purposes of estate settlement, so it's fine to just list the combined value and the combined cost base for a brokerage account as single asset. However, if the account contains any retirement funds, it's best to list those as a separate asset, due to tax treatment differences.
  • Cash: Does not include foreign currency, which should normally be listed as the "Other" type (due to the tax treatment of foreign currency gains and losses. Note that the cost basis of cash is the cash itself, so EstateExec automatically updates the cost basis of any distributed cash to be the amount distributed.
  • Collectible: Art, NFTs, coins, stamps, alcoholic beverages, and the like.
  • Cryptocurrency: Digital currency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the like.
  • Deposit Account: Certificates of deposit (CDs), savings accounts, checking accounts, money market funds, and the like.
  • Estate Account: Usually corresponds to a bank account the executor establishes to manage the administration of the estate.
  • Loan: A loan that the decedent or the estate itself made to someone else (the "lendee"). When the lendee repays some or all of the loan, you should record this payment in a loan repayment cashflow transaction, which will automatically reduce the remaining value of the loan asset.
  • Other Personal: Asset intended for personal use, such as furniture or kitchen appliances. Personal use items cannot have deemed losses, since they are expected to decline in value through usage. Vehicles and Jewelry are also considered personal use assets, but have their own categories.
  • Refund: It's common for an estate to receive refunds for unused service contracts, overpaid taxes, etc. While you may not know about these owed refunds when you start managing an estate, they are still considered assets of the estate at death (as opposed to income generated later on). See Record a Refund for instructions on depositing a refund check.
  • Retirement: This category includes accounts which were funded with pre-tax money, such as an RRSP or LIRA. There are some special circumstances under which an inheriting spouse may want to override the automatically calculated ACB: see Retirement ACB.
  • Stocks: Also includes things such as mutual funds and ETFs.
  • Trust: This asset type is only for trusts that existed prior to death (trusts that receive assets from the estate should be listed as Heirs, not Assets). In addition to including a pre-existing trust in an estate's list of assets, you may also want to set up a separate EstateExec "estate" for the trust if you are managing it, so you can generate accounting reports specifically for the trust, deal with the trust beneficiaries exclusively, and so forth.

Well-meaning executors are sometimes tempted to go even further with asset categorization, inventing sub-categories or even entire asset taxonomies... but this is not necessary for estate settlement. Since EstateExec's mission is to simplify the executor process, we only request categories that may impact the settlement process. That being said, if you want to provide additional organization beyond the supported asset types, you can mark assets with your own categories or "tags" in the assets' Notes fields.

Copyright © 2014-24 EstateExec