How can an individual shelter assets they received from an inheritance?
A will has stated that one person (non-relative) is to inherit everything ( house, car, money). Select relatives (siblings and nephews) are very likely to contest it. What should the intended recipient do with these assets before or during legal actions?
Forget about the will and concentrate on naming legal beneficiaries for all your retirement accounts and transfer-on-death (TOD) statements for non-retirement accounts. Those supersede a will and are very difficult to contest. With a house, transfer-on-death is usually not allowed in many states, but if you put your house into a trust then the will can state that the trust goes to one person whom you can name as the trustee and recipient.
If you want to be on the safe side, a better method for a house is to add that person's name to the deed. The person may have to pay capital gains taxes eventually on the price appreciation but that is better than risking a court challenge. It is very difficult to contest a legal deed which has already been registered.
It really depends on the state law where the will is being probated. If a will is contested during probate, the estate's assets will typically not be distributed until the will contest is done. If the executor distributes assets during a will contest, they could be held liable.
In most states, you can not shelter assets AFTER the rise of liability (like a legal lawsuit/contest) as that would be considered a fraudulent transfer.
There is very little that you can do to protect/shelter your assets that you receive (if distributed) as they can be clawed-back (a court order to return assets) if the will-contest succeeds.
That is one of the reasons that I recommend that any person creating a will create good no contest clauses that if they contest and lose, they get disinherited.
I suggest not doing anything with the assets other than to make sure they are secure and safe from relatives trying to take them. Then go hire a probate attorney in the area and start the probate process immediately.
You could sell the house and the car and move that money into a personal account and start earning some interest on it. As for the money that is being inherited, if it is an investment account you could close it out and roll that into a personal investment account in your name. the bottom line is that you may not be able to stop them from getting a piece of the inheritance but you can earn a little cash on it in the meantime. If they aren't able to contest it, you will already have everything in its proper place. Good Luck!