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My Children's Belongings in Bankruptcy

When filing bankruptcy the law requires the debtor to list all of his or her assets in the paperwork/Schedule B filed with the court. The instructions for completing Schedule B requires the debtor to list all personal property of the debtor of whatever kind.

We are frequently asked if the debtor(s) have to list the property that belongs to their children. It depends! If the property belongs to a minor child, you likely own the property that you purchased for the child, like clothing, bedroom furniture, even if you gave the item as a gift. If the minor child paid for an item with his/her own funds you would indicate that the car was paid for by the minor.

Money held in trust for your child is generally not property of the bankruptcy estate. For example, a bank account set up under the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) naming you custodian is usually protected.

In general protecting assets belonging to a debtor's child is usually not a big concern. However, if you have an unusual situation it is best to discuss this with one of our attorneys prior to filing. Please give us a call with any questions or concerns.

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