Nicaud & Sunseri Law Firm, LLC
Southshore: 504-662-9596
Northshore: 985-218-0494

Making The Complex Understandable

Estate planning and IRAs

Individual Retirement Accounts are a fantastic way to let your money grow tax-free until you decide to retire. But they also offer some benefits for those who are drafting estate plans. Social Security benefits, 401(k)s and pensions are safeguarded from creditors during a bankruptcy, and IRAs are as well. This means that they won't be able to seize those assets should you declare bankruptcy.

IRAs also make is incredibly easy to choose a beneficiary. You can name a spouse or a child and the account will be passed to them without going through the probate process. If you leave the IRA to a spouse, they can roll it over into their account and it will be given the same protections it gave you. However, they cannot add this IRA to any retirement assets they may have.

However, for non-spouse beneficiaries, bankruptcy protections won't be extended. The way the government see it is the money was meant for your or your spouse's retirement. Once you've passed away and left it to a non-spouse, the funds aren't considered retirement assets anymore.

Don't worry, there are other options for non-spouse beneficiaries. One is to set up a trust and then make that trust the IRA's beneficiary. If it's done correctly, the funds will be protected from creditors but still usable by your beneficiary.

If you have questions about how to fit your IRA into your estate plan, an estate planning attorney can answer them and may be able to help you draft your documents.

Source:, "Estate Planning Tip: Creditor Protection for IRAs & Beneficiaries," Barry Glassman, December 9, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Serving Orleans, St. Tammany, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Washington, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and Plaquemines Parishes
Email Us For A Response

Get Answers Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Metairie Office
3000 18th Street
Metairie, LA 70002

Phone: 504-662-9596
Fax: 504-833-2843
Metairie Law Office Map

Covington Office
7020 Highway 190 West Service Rd
Suite A-104
Covington, LA 70433

Phone: 985-218-0494
Fax: 985-624-9698
Covington Law Office Map