“It’s All Greek to Me”: Homestead

 In Asset Protection Planning, Estate Planning, Real Estate

“Homestead” can be found in several different contexts in Florida law, but it always retains its fundamental application to an individual’s home. When used to refer to real estate, one might hear of the “homestead exemption” – this is a tax exemption of up to $50,000 on land as valued by the county property appraiser. In the Florida Constitution, a special exemption for homestead property is also provided, one that lists the homestead as a protected asset with regard to creditors. This law ensures that, if a creditor successfully brings a claim against you in court, the judgment cannot attach to your homestead, if the debt is not otherwise secured by the real estate, as with a mortgage. There are also exceptions for unpaid tax foreclosures and mechanics liens.

Finally, estate attorneys use the word in the context defined by Article X, Section 4(c) of the Florida Constitution. It is stated: “The homestead shall not be subject to devise if the owner is survived by spouse or minor child, except the homestead may be devised to the owner’s spouse if there be no minor child.” The process of dealing with a homestead after the death of its owner thus becomes quite different from the process of dealing with the decedent’s other assets.

Call Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. at (941) 906-1231 if you have questions about how you can plan your estate with special consideration for your homestead.

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