Ask Terry Questions investments protected from creditors

investments protected from creditors

By Terry Savage on March 19, 2018 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Are there any investments protected from creditors like mortgagor? I heard on radio show that there are some annuities protected from creditors.

Terry Says

Well, the answer is more complicated than the question.  First, if you transfer money into a creditor protected trust or annuity in anticipation of either bankruptcy or fraud charges, it is quite likely that it will be considered an illegal "conveyance" -- and thus not subject to protection. Mostly, salespeople try to sell expensive annuity products by pointing out the threat that you could be sued and lose your personal assets.  But how likely is that in your case?   A divorce suit does not exclude assets transferred to annuities, in most states of residence.  In case of a divorce, only inherited -- separately held -- assets might be excluded from a settlement in a state that recognizes community property, which most states do in some form today. If you are worried about a creditor suit, assets held in a 40l(k) or 40c(b) plan are protected inherently.  (Assets inside an IRA account may have a slightly lower degree of credit protection depending on your state of residence.)   But if you think you are in a particularly vulnerable position (perhaps a physician, or someone otherwise exposed to personal lawsuits), you should consult a LAWYER -- not an annuity salesperson for protection.   You might be far better off paying for  professional liability insurance than taking a chanced on giving your assets to an illiquid and permanent annuity contract!

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