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I am the trustee of an irrevocable trust and am now filing for bankruptcy, can creditors go after the trust

Memphis, TN |

i am the trustee of an irrevocable trust. my brother made3 me the beneficiary of his pension fund so his irresponsible retarded son could not spend it. in the trust i named my children and grandchildren and his son as beneficiaries. i am now filing bankruptsey is the trust safe from all my creditors.

the money was left to me but it is not for me. it is for brothers retarded son who i give a weekly allowance and pay his bills. i know there is no way i can touch this money and i have not. but is there any way the creditors i personally owe money to be able to take it to satisfy what i owe them.

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Attorney answers 2


As long as you have prrof that the money is in trust for these beneficiaries, and as long as you explain and properly fill out the Bankruptcy Petition, this money should be protected. Be sure to keep it in a seperate Trust account as well. Good records and the proper seperation of assets will be your best protection.


First, you need to retain a competent lawyer in your city. If you do not have one, you should get a referral from a friend, neighbor, business colleague or the person who prepares your tax return. Otherwise, call the local Bar Association for a recommendation. Do not rely on advice over the internet.

Second, the following comments are meant to be helpful but cannot be taken as legal advice:

(i) a pension plan that is "qualified" under Federal law is exempt from all but three creditors. Those three creditors are (a) the United States government; (b) an order for child support; and (c) an order for spousal support.

(ii) the Federal law in question is ERISA - the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. That law is helpful if you are going to be in bankruptcy.

(iii) each state has its own rules that apply to money judgment creditors. That is another reason why you need to hire competent counsel. Of course, if you are going to file for bankruptcy, then you should hire a competent bankruptcy lawyer and he or she will be skilled in the exemption of pensions.