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  1. Bankruptcy Glossary
  2. Bankruptcy Estate

What is considered Bankruptcy Estate?

Assets in a bankruptcy estate can include:

  • real personal property such as cars, jewelry and cash
  • intangible assets such as intellectual property rights and unexpired leases

Filing a Bankruptcy Petition creates the bankruptcy estate (whether the bankruptcy is filed voluntarily or involuntarily). After the bankruptcy estate is established it is administered by the trustee. Section 541(a) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code outlines what is included in the bankruptcy estate which is all equitable and legal interests of the debtor at the time the bankruptcy petition is filed as well as other types of property that the debtor receives within 6 months of filing the bankruptcy petition (if the assets would have been included in the bankruptcy estate at the time of the bankruptcy filing).

Common types of property which may be considered part of the bankruptcy estate after the filing date can include property received from an inheritance, decrees of a divorce or a life insurance policy. It is important to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer for more information about how to determine what assets and property may belong to your bankruptcy estate. Certain assets legally are not considered part of a bankruptcy estate including: pensions, 401K plans, life insurance policies or annuities. Exemptions vary by state.