Homestead Property: Handle With Care!

Florida has unique constitutional and statutory provisions governing who may inherit homestead property. Before finalizing a last will or other estate planning documents, homeowners should consult counsel on the following, among other, considerations: 1. Does a home qualify as a constitutionally protected homestead?; 2. Will a spouse or minor children have rights to inherit all or some portion of the homestead; 3. Does it make sense for the owner(s) to sell, mortgage or make a lifetime gift of the homestead, or alternatively to change the form of ownership to a “tenancy by the entirety”; and 4. Is the intended beneficiary the surviving spouse or “heir” of the owner who could inherit the homestead and be exempt from forced sale to pay any unpaid debts of the deceased owner.

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