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Florida law provides what are known as homestead rights for the surviving family members of a decedent. Homestead rights protect the family’s primary residence against creditor claims in cases where the decedent passed away with unpaid debts.

These issues can become very complex, and as such, it is important for families to understand when a primary residence is officially considered a homestead. Legally speaking, family-owned real estate qualifies for a homestead if it meets the following conditions:

  • The legal title to the home was validated on or before January 1 of the year in which the decedent passed away
  • The home serves as the family’s primary residence
  • The property has been approved for legal homestead status, which is obtained by applying in person to the county property appraiser’s office before March 1 of the year in which the exemption is being sought

The property’s homestead status will be jeopardized unless all three of these conditions are met, but even if a home is deemed not to qualify for an exemption, family members still have legal recourse available to them. However, it is important to remember that Florida law has restrictions that determine who may and who may not legally inherit a homestead property. These matters are among the most complicated issues in Florida probate law, and it is recommended that you retain an attorney to assist you if you encounter any obstacles in obtaining a homestead exemption for your primary residence.

Pollack Pollack & Kogan is here to help you fight for your homestead property rights and protect your home against creditor claims. To discuss your case, please contact the Pollack Pollack & Kogan team by email at, or call 305-373-9676.