With the Texas case of In re Chilton reversed in U.S. District Court, which held that the debtor's inherited IRA was exempt from the claims of creditors, all bankruptcy courts that have ruled on the issue have determined that inherited IRAs are exempt in bankruptcy. Citizens in Florida, Minnesota, California, Ohio, and Washington (and essentially any other state that relies on the federal, rather than state, exemptions) can rest assured that any inherited IRAs will be protected should they have to file for bankruptcy.*
However, bankruptcy trustees in the Chilton and In re Hamlin (Arizona) cases have appealed the decisions to the Fifth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, respectively. (The links lead to Amicus briefs have been filed the the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.) The Tabor (Pennsylvania) case is on appeal to the Third Circuit. I believe the lower court holdings will be upheld, but in the meantime, at least, there is no certain protection for Texas, Arizona and Pennsylvania residents.
In non-bankruptcy situations, and for residents of other states, such as North Carolina, the issue of protection of inherited IRAs remains unsettled. Use of an IRA trust to protect the IRA you leave to your children or grandchildren can ensure protection and proper management.
*Selected citations: In re Nessa, 426 B.R. 312 (8th Cir. BAP 2010), In re Tabor, 433 B.R. 469 (Bankr. M.D. Pa. 2010), Bierbach v. Tabor, No. 10-cv-1580 (M.D. Pa. Dec. 2010) (unreported) (appeal pending), No. 10-4660 (3rd Cir.), In re Weilhammer, 2010 WL 3431465 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. Aug. 30, 2010); In re Kuchta, 434, 463 B.R. 837 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2010); In re Thiem, 2011 WL 182884 (Bkrtcy. D. Ariz. 2010); and In re Johnson, 2011 WL 1674928 (Bkrtcy W.D. Wash. 2011)