When a homestead owner dies or becomes incapacitated, disputes sometimes arise with regard to who will retain ownership rights of the homestead, whether fiduciaries and/or guardians can use the value of the homestead to pay off the debts of the homestead owner, and whether creditors can challenge a claim of homestead exemption in order to seize the homestead and sell it to satisfy debts owed.
Under Article X, Section 4(a)(1) of Florida’s Constitution, real property will qualify as a homestead:
“ . . . if located outside a municipality, to the extent of one hundred sixty acres of contiguous land and improvements there, which shall not be reduced without the owner’s consent by reason of subsequent inclusion in a municipality; or if located within a municipality, to the extent of one-half acre of contiguous land, upon which the exemption shall be limited to the residence of the owner or the owner’s family.”
Florida’s homestead exemption also applies to personal property of $1,000.00 under Article X, Section 4(a)(2) of the Florida Constitution. This is different from, and in addition to, exempt property under Fla. Stat. §732.402 in that it applies to any personal property, not just specific types of property.
Daniel A. Seigel has substantial experience in litigating disputes regarding whether a decedent’s residence and/or assets are considered as “homestead” assets.