If you become entitled to receive an inheritance within 180 days of your bankruptcy filing date it becomes part of your bankruptcy estate. This means you have to amend your bankruptcy schedules and notify the court and the trustee even if your case has already been closed. You will be able to keep your inheritance if you can exempt it. However, if you cannot exempt all of your inheritance, the trustee will take the nonexempt portion and use it to pay your creditors.
Congress created the 180-day rule to discourage people from filing for bankruptcy in anticipation of receiving a significant inheritance. The idea is that people should not file for bankruptcy just to protect an upcoming inheritance. The Trustee in your Bankruptcy case will inevitably ask you, under oath, whether you expect to receive an inheritance in the near future and that expectation will have to be divulged at that time.
For further information about Chapter 7 and Bankruptcy please call the Long Island Bankruptcy attorneys at Ronald D. Weiss P.C. 631-271-3737