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Ask Dave

Protecting The Inheritance

Caroline is concerned that creditors can come after the inheritance that her mom left her in the will. Can that happen?

QUESTION: Caroline’s mom died a month and a half ago. Caroline and her brothers inherited the house through mom’s will, and it should be divided equally. Caroline owns other properties in her name. How can she protect this inheritance from any other problems, since she owes collectors in other areas?

ANSWER: You can’t protect it. If you owe creditors, you have to pay them or they take what you own. One of the things you own now is this inheritance. The way you protect it is you put together a situation where you pay your bills. If you need to sell some things in order to get financially stable and protect that, then that’s a great idea. You need to have liability insurance in case you get sued. But to protect it from creditors, you really can’t.