Following the death of a homeowner, issues related to Florida homestead can be complex and tricky. When an individual passes away and their primary residence is in their sole name, some sort of Florida probate process will be necessary. The home is often the sole or largest asset that a person leaves behind. In order to protect this valuable asset for heirs, careful examination of legal issues related to a person’s home after death are often vital and necessary, especially when there is a surviving spouse or where there are creditor issues.
Each situation requires the consultation and services of an experienced Florida probate attorney familiar with homestead matters to determine whether there are related issues to be resolved. Call us for a consultation today at 941-879-9980 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Zoom meetings or video conferencing are gladly available.
What is Homestead and Why is it Important?
Homestead property in Florida is defined under our state’s constitution. In order to qualify as homestead in Florida, the property must meet certain ownership requirements, residency requirements and acreage limitations.
Ordinarily when we think of homestead it is related to a homestead tax exemption or a deduction given on our annual residential real estate tax bill. Sometimes it refers to a potential exemption from forced sale when foreclosure looms. However, when considering homestead in the context of a decedent’s estate or for probate purposes, we are referring to either:
- Limitations on how the home may be devised in a Will or distributed to heirs
- Protections that may be available from the decedent’s creditors
In Florida probate cases where there is residential real estate, it is extremely important to petition the court to determine whether a person’s Florida residential real property is or is not protected homestead property. Where real estate is an asset, this is a significant step in the legal process and is a part of the procedure that must be conducted by a Florida probate attorney.
Major issues may exist as to whether the property qualifies as homestead for probate purposes, and whether there are life estate or distribution election issues for surviving spouses. Improper devises of homestead under wills and trusts create complex probate issues that will need legal resolution.
The protections in the Florida constitution on homestead matters were put there for the purposes of preserving the family home for its owner and heirs. Therefore, call us for a consultation today on any Florida probate homestead issues that you might face at 941-879-9980 or email us at email@example.com. Zoom meetings or video conferencing are gladly available.