Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Assets, literally, estate of a deceased person sufficient to pay his debts; in practice the word is also applied to such estate where there is a deficiency. A general division of assets is made into real and personal; also into legal and equitable. Real assets consist practically of manors, advowsons, tithes, and freehold lands, whether in possession or reversion. Personal estates, as roughly stated, are the next presentation on an advowson to a church where the living is full; leaseholds; in certain cases, estates held for lives; growing timber; damages recovered; money and securities for money or stocks. Legal assets are such as a creditor might, until the recent fusion of law and equity, have made available for his debt in an action at law; equitable assets could have been reached by the medium of the Court of Chancery. This distinction has ceased to have much more than a historical importance since the Judicature Act, 1875, for in administering insolvent estates the same rules, viz. those of bankruptcy tribunals, are now to prevail in all courts; and by those rules all debts are put on the same footing, whereas before that time the priority of debts of different degree (i.e. debts secured by deed under seal as opposed to debts wanting in that formality) depended upon the question whether the fund applicable for payment fell within one or other of the classes, legal or equitable assets.