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Georgia Asset Protection Laws

Filed under Running A Business.

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

Homestead: Real property, including co-op up to $21,500, married couple may double. Unused homestead up to $5,000 may be applied to any property.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: ERISA-qualified retirement plans, plans for public employees and non-profits, and Social Security benefits. Other pensions and retirement benefits and annuity payments (including IRA exemptions for conventional, SEP and SIMPLE plans) exempt only to extent needed. Distributions limited to amount necessary for support of debtor and dependents, but undistributed balance is fully protected. Roth IRAs and regular IRAs up to $1,245,000 per person. Warning: A Georgia court has held that protection does not extend to self-funded IRAs.

Insurance: Annuity and endowment benefits. Disability or health benefits to $250 per month. Fraternal society benefits. Life insurance proceeds if needed for support. Unmatured life insurance dividends, up to $2,000 in dividends, interest or loan value, if debtor or dependent is the insured.

Personal Property: Burial place. Jewelry to $500. Motor vehicles to $5,000. Personal injury recoveries to $10,000. Wrongful death recoveries. Animals, crops, clothing, books, household goods, musical instruments to $300 per item, $5,000 maximum.

Tools of Trade: Tools and implements up to $1,500.

Miscellaneous: Alimony. Support and separate maintenance exempt to extent needed for debtor's or dependents' support.

Wages: Minimum 75% of earned but unpaid wages for private and federal workers. State employees'/officials' salaries totally exempt from claims relating to liability incurred in scope of government employment while responding to emergency.

Public Benefits: Workers' compensation. Unemployment compensation. Veteran's benefits. Aid to blind and disabled. Crime victim's compensation. Local public assistance. Old-age assistance. Social Security.

Wild Card: $600 of any property; and up to $5,000 of unused portion of homestead exemption.

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