Sections 2033 through 2046 of the Internal Revenue Code set forth the types of property and property transfers that are included in the gross estate. Generally, these provisions can be divided into several subsections: 1) property owned by the decedent, 2) property not owned by the decedent, 3) special types of property and transfers, and 4) gratuitous transfers.
Section 2033 is the basic provision of the Code dealing with the gross estate. It states, “the value of the gross estate shall include the value of all property to the extent of the interest therein of the decedent at the time of his death.” This section reaches more than property transferred by will or otherwise, so long as the decedent owns an interest in property at death, which is transmitted to another on account of the decedent’s death, the property is included in the decedent’s gross estate. All types of property—real or personal, tangible or intangible—are subject to the estate tax, including notes or other claims owned by the decedent, choses in action (right to bring a lawsuit) that survived the decedent’s death, and accrued salary, rent, interest, dividends, or other accrued rights to income owned by the decedent.