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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is Your IRA Safe?

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are something of importance to everyone, especially those set to retire in the next few years. Americans are living longer than ever, and the cost of living is and continues to increase. This means that in order to have a comfortable future, we all need to start planning ahead for our retirement. While on the topic, some good news is that the North Carolina Supreme Court has confirmed that IRAs are protected from creditor claims. It is important to keep in mind though that there are some state law restrictions on these accounts. In a recent case, Kinlaw v. Harris, this exact issue came into play. In court, the Defendant claimed that his 2 IRAs were exempt from the Plaintiff's claims. The Plaintiff subsequently claimed that the Defendant could not use that argument as he used it to knowingly make himself judgement proof. After many litigation and appeals, the final Supreme Court ruling decided that IRAs are exempt from the account owner's creditors; however, there may be circumstances that involve an escrow agreement in which IRA owners have to agree to give a creditor notice of any withdrawals from his IRA in exchange for a court order that all of the assets inside the IRA itself are protected from attachment. IRAs are not covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, so for a more complete understanding about the rules and regulations regarding IRAs be sure to look up the specific exemptions in federal or state laws. It's worth it to be in the know on such an important aspect of your life and future!

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