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Asset Protection and Individual Retirement Accounts – Introduction to Protecting IRAs

by Douglas Lineberry on December 29, 2009

This is an introduction to a multi-part post on asset protection for individual retirement accounts (or “IRAs”).  Many people believe that their IRA is an extremely secure asset, held inviolate against claims of creditors and fully protected by bankruptcy laws.  As we will discuss, there is a certain level of asset protection for IRAs in both state and federal exemption statutes, but the protection is not as absolute as it would seem.

Many of the comments in each part of this series of posts will likely apply to other types of retirement accounts, such as 401(k) and 403(b) accounts.  Unless noted, however, the information provided is specifically with reference to IRAs.  The comments in this series (and anywhere else on this blog) are intended to be general in nature and should not be regarded as legal advice specific to your personal situation.  You should consult an attorney with experience and expertise in asset protection and retirement accounts.

The series will progress in the following parts:

  • Part I: IRAs and Bankruptcy – Statutory Protection
  • Part II: IRAs, Bankruptcy and Creditor Claims – Prohibited Transactions
  • Part III: IRAs, Bankruptcy and Creditor Claims – Inherited IRAs
  • Part IV: Asset Protection for IRAs Post Death – Protection From Your Creditors
  • Part V: Asset Protection for IRAs Post Death – Protection From Your Family
  • Part VI: The Importance of Beneficiary Designation Forms

We have no particular timeline for posting each of these parts.  Please check back often or subscribe to our feed for update notification.

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