What is Asset?

Legal Definition
In financial accounting, an asset is an economic resource. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash (although cash itself is also considered an asset).

The balance sheet of a firm records the monetary value of the assets owned by the firm. It is money and other valuables belonging to an individual or business. Two major asset classes are tangible assets and intangible assets. Tangible assets contain various subclasses, including current assets and fixed assets. Current assets include inventory, while fixed assets include such items as buildings and equipment.

Intangible assets are nonphysical resources and rights that have a value to the firm because they give the firm some kind of advantage in the market place. Examples of intangible assets are goodwill, copyrights, trademarks, patents and computer programs, and financial assets, including such items as accounts receivable, bonds and stocks.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
In family law, specifically in the context of divorce, marital assets are economic resources attained during the marriage; that is from the date of the marriage ceremony to the date of actual or constructive separation. Marital assets will then be weighed against marital debt in the division of property and the award of spousal support. In the context of child support, the non-custodial parent's assets are calculated in measuring the amount of child support to be paid.
Legal Definition
A financial contract or physical object with value that is owned by an individual, company, or sovereign, which can be used to generate additional value or provide LIQUIDITY. Assets are credits to the balance sheet, and may include CASH, investments, ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE, LOANS granted, INVENTORY, real estate, plant and equipment, and GOODWILL. Assets are characterized by varying degrees of LIQUIDITY, and may be funded through DEBT or EQUITY. See also LIABILITY.
Legal Definition
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.

3. Assets enter maim, or assets in hand, is such property as at once comes to the executor or other trustee, for the purpose of satisfying claims against him as such. Termes de la Ley.

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.

5. Legal assets, are such as constitute the fund for the payment of debts according to their legal priority.

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.

8. Personal assets, are such goods and chattels to which the executor or administrator is entitled.

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.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
In probate law. Property of a decedent available for the payment of debts and legacies; the estate coming to the heir or personal representative which Is chargeable, in law or equity, with the obligations which such heir or representative is required, in his representative capacity, to discharge. In an accurate and legal sense, all the personal property of the deceased which is of a salable nature, and may be converted into ready money, is deemed assets. But the word is not confined to such property ; for all other property of the deceased which is chargeable with his debts or legacies, and is applicable to that purpose, is, in a large sense, assets. 1 Story, Eq. Jur. § 531; Marvin v. Railroad Co. (C. C.) 49 Fed. 436; Trust Co. v. Earle, llO U. S. 710, 4 Sup. Ct 231, 28 L Ed. 301. Assets per descent. 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 ancestors. 2 Williams, Exits, 1011. In commercial law. The aggregate of available property, stock in trade, cash, etc., belonging to a merchant or mercantile company. The word "assets," though more generally used to denote everything which comes to the representatives of a deceased person, yet is by no means confined to that use, but has come to signify everything which can be made available for the payment of debts, whether belonging to the estate of a deceased person or uot. Hence we speak of the assets of a bank or other monied corporation, the assets of an insolvent debtor, and the assets of an individual or private copartnership; and we always use this word when we speak of the means which a party has, as compared with his liabilities or debts. Stanton v Lewis, 26 Conn. 449; Vaiden v. Hawkins, 59 bliss. 419 ; Pelican v. Rock Falls, 81 Wis. 42a 51 N. W. 871, 52 N. W. 1049. The property or effects of a bankrupt or insolvent, applicable to the payment of his debts. The term "assets" includes all property of every kind and nature, chargeable with the debts of the bankrupt, that comes into the hands of and under the control of the assignee ; and the value thereof is not to be considered a less sum than that actually realized out of said property, and received by the assignee for it. In re Taggert, 16 N. B. R. 351, Fed. Cas. No. 13,725.
See also
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Property or funds which may be subjected to the meeting of one,s obligations. See 51 Am. St. Rep. 887; also 5 L. R. A. (N. S.) 358, note.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary