I inherited a $100,000 IRA from my mother. Will it be taken away from me if I file bankruptcy in Texas?

If you are able to claim Texas exemptions, then yes, you should be able to claim your inherited IRA as exempt under Texas law. Section 42.0021 of the Texas Property Code permits you to claim inherited IRA's as exempt.

But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Clark v Rameker that inherited IRA's cannot be claimed as exempt under federal law in bankruptcy. So if you choose the wrong exemptions, then yes it is possible in Texas to lose an inherited IRA to your bankruptcy trustee who could then liquidate it and use the money to pay your unsecured creditors.

So if you have to file chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas and you have an inherited IRA, be sure to hire an experienced, expert bankruptcy lawyer to be sure that your property is properly claimed as exempt and protected.

J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization