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I am the 100% beneficiary of an IRA from a Georgia resident. Can the proceeds of that IRA be forced away to pay debtors?

Shippensburg, PA |

The Administrator is asking who the beneficiary is and is stating that bills are starting to come in.

Sorry, I can provide more information. The deceased was in their early 50's, so only a loan from the IRA had been made, (no normal distributions) but it was a small loan. It is not a situation where I am beneficiary of an estate. There has always been talk of a will in existence, but none has been located. I was notified directly from the employers investment company that the exists and that I am the beneficiary. Does this help?

Attorney Answers 3


The facts of your situation as disclosed are far from clear. If you have received an IRA because you were the designated beneficiary of that IRA, one rule applies: as a general rule that account is exempt from the claims of judgment creditors. If you are the beneficiary of an estate in which an IRA is one of the assets, a different procedure will be in effect. In the administration of an estate, the valid claims and expenses of the estate must be paid before distributions are made to heirs or beneficiaries.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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More detail needed. Is this a trust? Or a Will? Other?

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Typically any contract with a beneficiary is considered non-probate property and the assets would transfer free from creditor claims, however in this case, it may depend on whether the Georgia resident was getting disbursements from the IRA already, if the IRA were in any way pledged to the creditors, and whether Georgia law protects IRAs from creditors. You should contact a Georgia Estate Planning Attorney.

Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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