ASSETS. The property in the hands of an heir, executor, administrator or trustee, which is legally or equitably chargeable with the obligations, which such heir, executor, administrator or other trustee, is, as such, required to discharge, is called assets. The term is derived from the French word assez, enough; that is, the heir or trustee has enough property. But the property is still called assets, although there may not be enough to discharge all the obligations; and the heir, executor, &c., is chargeable in distribution as far as such property extends.
2. Assets are sometimes divided by all the old writers, into assets enter mains and assets per descent; considered as to their mode of distribution, they are 1egal or equitable; as to the property from which they arise, they are real or personal.
4. Assets per descent, is that portion of the ancestor's estate which descends to the heir, and which is sufficient to charge him, as far as it goes, with the specialty debts of his ancestor. 2 Williams on Ex. 1011.
6. Equitable assets, are such as can be reached only by the aid of a court of equity, and are to be divided,, pari passu, among all the creditors; as when a debtor has made his property subject to his debts generally, which, without his act would not have been so subject. 1 Madd. Ch. 586; 2 Fonbl. 40 1, et seq.; Willis on Trust, 118.
7. Real assets, are such as descend to the heir, as in estate in fee simple.
9. In commerce, by assets is understood all the stock in trade, cash, and all available property belonging to a merchant or company. Vide, generally, Williams on Exec. Index, h. t.; Toll. on Exec. Index, h. t.; 2 Bl. Com. 510, 511; 3 Vin. Ab. 141; 11 Vin. Ab. 239; 1 Vern. 94; 3 Ves. Jr. 117; Gordon's Law of Decedents, Index, h. t.; Ram on Assets.