Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Article, "Bequeathed IRA Not Like Other IRAs," About an Illinois Appellate Court Case Won By Julie Neubauer


In a case of first impression in Illinois, on Sept. 14, 2015, Julie A. Neubauer obtained a favorable ruling before the Illinois Appellate Court for the firm’s client, Georgia Xenakis Branit (Georgia). Georgia appealed a Cook County Circuit Court decision that discharged third-party citations to discover assets issued to collect on three separate judgments against her ex-husband, Jeffry Carl Branit (Jeffry). The issue before the Court was whether an inherited or beneficiary Individual Retirement Account (inherited IRA) is excluded from the exemptions from judgment enforcement available under Section 12-1006 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure [735 ILCS 5/12-1006].

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “Trial Notebook” section author Steven P. Garmisa covers the case in the Dec. 29, 2015, edition of the paper in a column titled “Bequeathed IRA not like other IRAs.”

Garmisa writes: “Jeffrey Branit inherited an individual retirement account from his mother. Trying to shield the IRA from collection proceedings after ex-wife Georgia Xenakis Branit won judgments against him for $108,470 — his share of their daughter’s college tuition and expenses, plus $112,000 for Georgia’s legal fees — Jeffrey invoked the exemption granted by Section 12-1006 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure for retirement plans.

"Section 12-1006 says “a retirement plan is exempt from judgment, attachment, execution, distress for rent and seizure for the satisfaction of debts if the plan … is intended in good faith to qualify as a retirement plan under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.”

"A Cook County judge ruled the IRA was exempt.

"Reversing, the Illinois Appellate Court concluded that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Clark v. Rameker, 134 S.Ct. 2242 (2014), on whether an inherited IRA is protected by a bankruptcy exemption for retirement funds, “is controlling.” In re Marriage of Branit, 2015 IL App (1st) 141297 (Sept. 14, 2015)."

Garmisa then offers highlights of Justice Laura Liu’s opinion. The full article can be found by CLICKING HERE.

CLICK HERE for an alert concerning the victory on Aronberg Goldgehn’s website.

About Julie Neubauer

Julie A. Neubauer dedicates her practice to issues of matrimonial and family law, including divorce, child custody, domestic violence/orders of protection, child support, post-judgment litigation, adoption, parentage and all other related matters. She is engaged in all aspects of the practice, including preparing prenuptial agreements, drafting pleadings, handling pre-trial motions, engaging in settlement negotiations, conducting discovery analysis, and handling trials and appeals.

Julie joined the Aronberg Goldgehn Family Law Group in July 2009, bringing a decade of experience, both from her prior career as an advocate and counselor for survivors of domestic violence and as a practicing attorney. She has been recognized as an “Emerging Lawyer” in Family Law by Leading Lawyers magazine and as a “Rising Star” in Family Law by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine.

225 W. Washington St.Suite 2800Chicago, Illinois 60606

301 S. County Farm RoadSuite AWheaton, Illinois 60187