Americans have trillions invested in qualified retirement plans (QRPs) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Knowing what protections these assets have from creditors is essential to good estate planning. Different sets of rules govern QRPs and IRAs, including whether such assets are exempt in whole or in part from creditors' claims. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)1 controls QRPs, preempting state law.2 But ERISA does not apply to all employee plans — only ...

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