Q: Is there a trust that can protect my asset (house) from bankruptcy?
I have our house in a revocable trust and need to transfer (or amend) to protect the assets from litigation/bankruptcy.
A: An irrevocable trust would better protect the asset (generally), but there are ways to still get to the asset if it's shown to be a fraudulent transfer. You can't just hide your assets from creditors, and transferring the asset to an irrevocable trust on the eve of bankruptcy (or pending litigation) is a big red flag. If you file bankruptcy, the Trustee will likely pursue the asset. If not, your creditors might, depending on how aggressive they are.
You desperately need an in-person sit-down meeting with a bankruptcy expert. You have a lot going on. Maybe more than one meeting will be necessary.
There already are certain protections built into the law that might prove to be sufficient to protect someone's home and other assets. But you must have personal advice to find out what these can do for you in your own specific case. Your contemplated fumbling around with transfers of real estate or other assets could cause a person to lose the privilege of having such protections.
You are not going to solve your worries by asking for legal advice on public message boards.
The definition of a bankruptcy "estate", 11 USC Section 541,including all interests of a debtor, is quite broad, and includes property held in a revocable trust, as well as many other business forms. There are also "reach-back" provisions in the Bankruptcy Code, as well as under applicable state law, to defeat so-called "fraudulent transfers".
The US Bankruptcy laws have been in place for a looong time, and pretty much all the "tricks" have been tried, and almost all of those have been unsuccessful.
Speak to a California bankruptcy lawyer about the foregoing, and your question, but my gut feel from your question is that it's too late for you to play a "keep-away" card.
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