The rules of bankruptcy and inheritances can protect you from losing an inheritance to creditors. In Indiana, there is no special bankruptcy exemption that allows you to keep your inheritance when you file for bankruptcy. Therefore, it is very important in Indiana to understand clearly which inheritances can be come part of your bankruptcy estate.
There are special rules that apply to bankruptcy and inheritances in Indiana. When you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, any inheritance that you are already due to receive is part of the bankruptcy estate automatically. Therefore, if someone has already died and your bankruptcy case has been filed, you will be required to turn over the proceeds of your inheritance to the Bankruptcy Trustee to repay creditors. The special rule applies, however, where inheritances become due for up to six months after the bankruptcy case is filed. For this six month, 180 day period, the inheritance must still be turned over to the bankruptcy estate to help repay your debts.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can even create a larger period of time where any inheritances could be forced to be paid to the Bankruptcy Trustee to repay creditors. This is because during the entire life of the Chapter 13 repayment plan, you will be required to turn over any inheritance received at that time to help repay some of your creditors. Therefore, if you are expecting to receive an inheritance during your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, it is very important to make plans accordingly. Perhaps a Chapter 7 case could be advisable if you are eligible to reduce this time period in which inheritances must be turned over to the Bankruptcy Trustee.
If you are anticipating an inheritance sometime in the future, careful debt relief planning will be required to make sure that you can enjoy the maximum benefits possible. Bankruptcy can be a powerful tool in planning for debt relief even if you may receive an inheritance sometime in the future. If your plan includes bankruptcy, make sure to understand the ramifications of family member’s early passing.
~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster on Inheritances and Bankruptcy