CA's Budget & Nonprofits: Part Four
05.25.2023 | Linda J. Rosenthal, JD
Do you have IRAs or other retirement accounts that you plan to leave to your loved ones? If so, proceed with caution. Most people don’t know the law has changed: inherited retirement accounts no longer have asset protection, meaning they can be seized by creditors.
In Clark v. Rameker, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, held that inherited IRAs are not exempt from the beneficiary’s creditors because inherited IRAs are not “retirement funds” within the meaning of 11 USC §522(b)(3)(C) of the federal Bankruptcy Code. As a result, the creditors of the beneficiary of an inherited IRA may attach the inherited IRA.
Fortunately, retirement account protection still exists but only if you take pre-emptive action. Many of our clients are using Standalone Retirement Trusts (SRT) to protect their retirement assets, and to ensure their loved ones are protected. The SRT is a special type of revocable trust just for retirement accounts.
A properly drafted SRT:
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court decision has made outright beneficiary designations for IRAs and other retirement accounts a risky business. However, we are here to help you decide whether an SRT is a good fit for you and to answer your questions about protecting your retirement accounts. We look forward to hearing from you.