Los Angeles, CA asked in Bankruptcy for Colorado

Q: I filed for chapter 7 in June 2019. Would have been sooner but elderly lawyer took 9 months to file a very simple case.

I filed for chapter 7 in June 2019. Would have been sooner but elderly lawyer took 9 months to file a very simple chapter 7. Two months later, my chapter 7 was discharged & my mother unexpectedly died in a heap of trash & dead animals in her house & left me money. I am still traumatized by her awful death & hoarding but now the state of Colorado wants my inheritance!

Due to the 180 day inheritance rule, they want 50K possibly more of my inheritance. With COVID & death of my mother I have not earned a paycheck since Nov. Is there a way of getting this dismissed, discharged & keeping My inheritance? I am a very desperate single mother. Please help me. My lawyer at the time, immediately told the trustee that I had a inheritance without me knowing. I would have said ok but he did it without telling me. I no longer speak to this lawyer. He never informed me of anything at all after that. Plus, the trustee & state of Colorado doesn’t inform me of anything either. I’ve written 2 letters too!

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2 Lawyer Answers
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA

A: The "180 day rule" is pretty straightforward. If your inheritance "ripens", i.e., becomes an enforceable right within that 180 days, you are obligated to inform the court/trustee, and turn over the inherited funds, for the benefit of the estate and its creditors. There are no exceptions of which I am aware.

Clark Dray
Clark Dray
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Broomfield, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: There aren't a lot of good options here, but if your mother had estate planning documents like a will or a trust, they should be examined by an experienced bankruptcy attorney to see whether they contain language which might shelter some or all of the inheritance (a spendthrift provision).

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