You worked hard to afford your home so that your family would have a decent place to live. You might plan on passing the house on to your children as part of your estate plan. The last thing you want would be to lose the house to creditors if you ever find yourself struggling with debt.
Fortunately, Florida’s homestead exemption law can help prevent that from happening. Here’s how.
Shielding your home from most creditors
The law states that if you own the home you live in, most creditors cannot touch it. The house and up to half an acre of surrounding land are shielded from a forced sale imposed by any creditor except the mortgage holder or a party with a lien on the property. Besides homes with foundations, the homestead exemption also applies to mobile homes. And if you live on a large plot in an unincorporated area, you can protect up to 160 acres as your homestead property.
The homestead exemption helps you keep your home during tough financial times. But to use it, you must file an affidavit with the court. This affidavit describes the property and claims it as your homestead. Note that this is a different document than the homestead tax form you file with the Palm Beach County property appraiser. If you don’t file the affidavit, you could lose out on the chance to claim the homestead exemption against creditors someday.
Doing whatever it takes for your family
Your family means everything to you. Keeping a roof over their head is a top priority. Knowing your legal rights and possible remedies can help you keep your home.