Most states partly protect household furniture from creditor claims. Again, you must check your state exemptions. The new Bankruptcy Act also protects furnishings to a modest value. Moreover, ordinary household furniture has little resale value and is seldom seized by creditors. On the other hand, more valuable antiques, heirlooms, art, pianos, electronics, jewelry and valuable collections (stamps, coins, etc.) need protection. One obvious alternative is to sell or pawn your exposed personal assets and spend or protect the cash proceeds, if creditor seizure is imminent. Or you may transfer these assets to a family limited partnership, particularly if these assets will increase in value and can be viewed as an investment. Still, another alternative is to exchange any exposed assets with your spouse for exempt assets of equal value. Finally, you may also pledge these assets as collateral for loans.
How should antiques and other collectibles be titled?