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FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



asset n

[back-formation from assets, singular, sufficient property to pay debts and legacies, from Anglo-French asetz, from Old French asez enough]
1 : the entire property of a person, business organization, or estate that is subject to the payment of debts used in pl. compare equity
2 : an item of property owned

admitted asset
: an asset allowed by law to be included in determining the financial condition of an insurance company compare nonadmitted asset in this entry

appointive asset
: an asset in an estate that is to be distributed under a power of appointment

capital asset
: a tangible or intangible long-term asset esp. that is not regularly bought or sold as part of the owner's business
: any asset classified as a capital asset by law (as section 1221 of the Internal Revenue Code)

cur·rent asset
: a short-term asset (as inventory, an account receivable, or a note) that can be quickly converted into cash

equitable asset
: an asset esp. in an estate that is subject to the payment of debts only in a court of equity

fixed asset
: a tangible asset (as a piece of equipment) that is of a permanent or long-term nature

intangible asset
: an asset (as goodwill or a patent) that does not have physical form

marital asset
: an asset acquired by either spouse or both spouses during a marriage NOTE: Marital assets are generally subject to equitable distribution on divorce.

net assets
1 : the excess of assets over liabilities called also net worth
2 : admitted assets considered as a whole

net quick assets
: the excess of quick assets over current liabilities

non·ad·mit·ted asset
: an asset not allowed by law to be included in determining the financial condition of an insurance company because it cannot be quickly converted into cash without incurring a loss compare admitted asset in this entry

quick assets
: cash, accounts receivable, and other current assets except inventories

tangible asset
: an asset that has physical form and is capable of being appraised at an actual or approximate value

wast·ing asset
: property (as a copyright or oil well) that will eventually expire or be used up and lose its value

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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