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What Happens to My Assets If I Have to Go to Jail?

Being required to serve a jail sentence is an event no one looks forward to. Many potential life changes could arise as a result. One issue that might cause you concern is the future of your assets.


Sometimes, the fate of your assets might be directly tied to the specific crime you were convicted of. For example, if you were sentenced for committing some type of fraud, your assets might be frozen or confiscated if the appropriate authorities believe those funds were obtained through the criminal activity you were said to have perpetrated.

The Fate of Legally Held Assets

Should your assets be considered legal holdings, a number of circumstances could determine their fate such as:

Being Placed in Family or Loved Ones Hands

If you are married or had other close relations and the names of said individuals appear on the accounts, they still technically own the funds and have the legal right to spend such money as they see fit.

Bank Freezes

If you have no close relations and the accounts are not accessed for extended durations, said financial institutions might freeze the accounts in question. In many instances, accounts are frozen after anywhere from six to 12 months of inactivity.

The Importance of Retaining A Lawyer’s Services

If you are facing this difficult predicament, legal and financial experts strongly suggest retaining the services of an experienced legal professional. The hard truth is that the financial aspects of your life are not simply put on hold if you are incarcerated and important financial decisions should be made before you begin your sentence.

The Actions an Attorney Can Help You Take

Prior to beginning your sentence, an attorney can help you:

Identify All Your Assets

You should compile a list of all assets you have including bank and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, other investments, property and other pertinent ownings.

Determine Payment Arrangements

You may not remember all the automatic payment agreements you might have in effect with specific billers such as mortgage holders, utilities companies or entertainment sources. Over time, set arrangements could deplete money from an account quickly. Therefore, it is paramount to identify said agreements and make the appropriate alterations if necessary.

Identify Trusted Relations to Handle Financial Responsibility

You might opt to designate a trusted relative or other close relation to be bestowed the legal authority oversee your financial obligations until your sentence is complete.

Contacting Us

If you are facing jail time, contact the best criminal lawyers in Philadelphia. Our team of attorneys can review your circumstances and potentially help you identify the most optimal means of preserving your assets while you will be away.