The death of a loved one is always difficult, but receiving an inheritance may soften the blow and reassure you that you were loved by your family member. Naturally, you and other Detroit residents would want to put an inheritance to good use, such as purchasing furniture or going on vacation. You might also want to put your inheritance toward a car or home or use it for your children’s college fund. What happens, however, if you have debt that has gone to a collection agency? Can your creditors take your inheritance from you?

Some types of inheritance are protected from creditors, which may include retirement or life insurance funds. However, states CreditCards.com, collectors may be able to seize certain assets to repay your debts, including money that was left to you in a will. If you find yourself receiving numerous letters and phone calls from collection agencies, your assets may be subject to garnishment or repossession.

Many people address their debt by paying it down after receiving an inheritance. In fact, you might find it a relief to unburden yourself from debt collectors in this way. You might, however, protect a future inheritance from the possibility of garnishment by dealing with your debt in advance. It may help to negotiate with creditors or adjust your budget to reduce spending and pay down some of your debt. Handling debt now may enable you to enjoy your inheritance later and spend or save it the way you would prefer. This information is meant to educate and not to replace the advice of a lawyer.