Florida is by far the best state for homestead protection, but do you really know what that means? Article X, Section 4 and Article VII, Section 7 of the Florida Constitution specify the parameters of the homestead exemption for Florida residents. A Florida resident is any person who lives in the state of Florida for six (6) or more months out of the year. In other words, Florida must be your primary residence and not a transient residence.
Article X, Section 4 is broken down into three sections. The first section protects a person’s primary home from the threats of outside creditors. To be protected the homestead property must be on no more than one-half (1/2) acres of contiguous land inside of a municipality and no more than one hundred and sixty (160) acres of contiguous land outside of a municipality. The valuation of the property is immaterial as the entire value of the homestead is protected. The second section states that the benefits will inure or benefit any surviving spouses of a homestead resident; therefore, the benefits survive a person’s death. The third section focuses more on internal threats and states that the Florida homestead is not subject to devise if the owner is survived by a spouse or minor child except the homestead may be devised to the owner’s spouse if there are no minor child. However, the property may be sold, but only if the spouse joins in the sale. This section essentially protects the homestead property from the outside and from the inside (whether from an outside creditor or a creditor within one’s familial structure).
Finally, the last benefit of the homestead exemption in Florida is essentially a tax break, which is provided for pursuant to Article VII, Section 7 of the Florida Constitution.
Contact the Attorneys of The Noble Law Firm, P.A. to assist you with your estate planning and/or other legal needs.