I am expecting an inheritance. Should I still file for bankruptcy?

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Written by Attorney Eva Bacevice.  
Updated July 22, 2020

Summary

If you want to keep the inheritance in full it’s important to wait for at least 180 days before filing your bankruptcy.

If you want to keep the inheritance in full it’s important to wait for at least 180 days before filing your bankruptcy.

If you receive an inheritance within 180 of filing your case, that money will become part of the bankruptcy estate, which means that the Trustee can take it to pay your creditors. The clock starts as soon as you are entitled to receive the inheritance, usually when the benefactor passes away.

You can try to protect an inheritance by claiming an exemption (or amending the schedules in your existing case), but you will only be able to protect up to a certain amount. If the inheritance is likely to exceed the amount you can exempt (or protect), you should wait to file.

About the author

Attorney Eva Bacevice
Eva G. Bacevice graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 2001. She practiced law for close to a decade in the area of consumer bankruptcy. She now works in higher education as an Academic Advisor for undergraduate students at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business,... read more

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