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Massachusetts Asset Protection Laws

Filed under Asset Protection Strategies. Fact checked on April 22, 2012.

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These assets are exempted from a state court or bankruptcy proceeding in Massachusetts.

Homestead: Real property up to $500,000. Co-owners cannot double. Property held as tenancy by entirety exempt against debt of only one spouse.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: Funds exempt for ERISA-qualified retirement benefits, public employees' plans and savings bank employees' plans. IRA exemptions for conventional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE plans. For IRAs, contributions made within the last five years are exempt only to the extent that the contributions did not exceed 7% of the individual's income over the five-year period. Roth IRAs and regular IRAs up to $1,245,000 per person.

Insurance: Fraternal benefit society benefits. Life or endowment policy proceeds or cash value. Group annuity policy or proceeds. Life insurance policy if beneficiary is married woman or cannot be used to pay beneficiary's creditors. Group life insurance policy. Disability benefits up to $400 per week.

Personal Property: Books to $500 total. Sewing machine up to $300. Cash for fuel, heat, water or light up to $500 per month. Clothing. Co-op shares up to $100. Furniture up to $15,000. Motor vehicle up to $7,500. Trust company bank deposits up to $600. Burial places and church pew.

Tools of Trade: Tools, implements and fixtures up to $5,000. Stock up to $5,000. Fishing gear used in debtor's business up to $1,500.

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property.

Wages: 85% of gross earnings.

Public Benefits: Veteran's benefits. Workers' compensation. Unemployment compensation. AFDC. Aid to aged and disabled.

Wild Card: None.

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