- Ag Docket
(district court had held that inherited IRA funds exempt from debtor’s bankruptcy estate under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 522(b)(3)(C) because they are “retirement funds” that are tax-exempt under I.R.C. §408; decedent died about a year after establishing account which named daughter as beneficiary; daughter had own IRA and had balance of decedent’s IRA rolled into hers and then took monthly distributions from it before retiring; over nine years later daughter and husband filed Chapter 7; bankruptcy court (450 B.R. 858 (Bankr. W.D. Wis. 2011)) ruled IRA not exempt on basis that inherited IRA funds were not "retirement funds" in the hands of the debtor and, therefore, not exempt; on review, district court (466 B.R. 135 (W.D. Wis. 2012)) determined that IRA account funds need not be “retirement” funds of the debtor to qualify for exemption; district court followed majority view that direct transfers of retirement funds from tax-exempt account qualify for exemption, and immaterial that there are differences between traditional IRAs and inherited IRAs due to I.R.C. §408(e)(1); question of whether inherited IRA should be exempt up to the Congress to change the statute; on further review, circuit court reversed on basis that inherited IRAs represent opportunity for current consumption in hands of debtor and are not a fund of retirement savings; court analogized situation to that of debtor inheriting home - home only exempt if debtor lived in it, and is not exempt merely based on how prior owner used the property; court's opinion contrary to Fifth Circuit in In re Chilton, 674 F.3d 486 (5th Cir. 2012); U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari).
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