Property that is not in your bankruptcy estate is not subject to the bankruptcy court’s jurisdiction, which means that the bankruptcy trustee can’t take it to pay your creditors under any circumstances.
The most common types of property that don’t fall within your bankruptcy estate are:
TIP. Even if they are technically part of your bankruptcy estate, most retirement plans are exempt, which means you’ll get to keep them anyway. For example, IRAs and 401(k) plans are exempt in all states (although the exemption for IRAs is limited to $1,171,650 per person).
Funds placed in a qualified state tuition program or Coverdell education savings account are also not part of your bankruptcy estate, as long as:
This exclusion applies to all funds placed in the account at least two years previous to your filing date. It is limited to funds of $5,475 or less placed in the account within a one-year period beginning two years before you file for bankruptcy.
For a list of categories of property that is part of your bankruptcy estate, see Property in Your Bankruptcy Estate.