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I'm Expecting an Inheritance. Should I Still File for Bankruptcy?

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In a Nutshell

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

Written by Attorney Eva Bacevice
Updated January 25, 2022

If you think you'll become eligible to receive an inheritance soon, it may be better to wait to file your bankruptcy case unless the available wildcard exemption is enough to protect the full amount you're expecting.

If you've already filed and you become eligible to receive an inheritance within 180 days of filing your case, that money becomes part of the bankruptcy estate. Since it's part of your estate, the trustee can use it to pay your creditors. The clock starts as soon as you are entitled to receive the inheritance, usually when the benefactor passes away.

Check out the article titled How Can a Trustee Find Out About an Inheritance? for more on this topic.

Written By:

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 about Attorney Eva Bacevice

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