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South Carolina 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 South Carolina.

Homestead: Real or personal property, or co-op association, up to $53,375. Joint owners may double. Adjusted annually for inflation.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: ERISA-qualified plans. Funds exempt for Social Security and miscellaneous state and local employee retirement systems. IRA exemptions for conventional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE plans. Roth IRAs and regular IRAs up to $1,245,000 per person. Warnings: IRAs limited to payments, and not balance in plans. Also, no protection for IRAs that are established by an "insider" of the debtor. This provision could eliminate the protection otherwise offered to small business owners by SEP and SIMPLE plans.

Insurance: Life insurance for the benefit of spouse, children or dependents, if purchased more than 2 years prior to filing. Life insurance up to $4,000 on debtor's provider. Any unmatured life insurance policy other than credit life. Proceeds of life insurance or annuity contract. Fraternal society benefits. Wrongful death and bodily injury to debtor's provider.

Personal Property: One motor vehicle up to $5,625. Household furnishings and goods, clothing, appliances, books, animals, crops, musical instruments up to $4,500. Cash up to $1,000 in lieu of homestead or burial lot, Jewelry up to $1,125. Health aids. One burial plot, as an alternative to the homestead exemption.

Tools of Trade: Tools and implements up to $1,675.

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property. Alimony. Child support.

Wages: None.

Public Benefits: Unemployment compensation. Social Security. Public assistance. Crime victim's compensation.

Wild Card: None.

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