When you’re working on your estate plan in Florida, something you’ll want to understand well is the state’s homestead laws. These exemptions can be a little bit complicated, but properties that qualify as homesteads may receive many protections.
Your home may fall under the homestead laws if you have the legal or beneficial title belonging to the home as of the first day of the year in question. Additionally, this home needs to be your permanent residence.
You can get a tax exemption on your home, but you will need to go to the property appraiser’s office between January and March 1 to do so in the same year when you’re seeking tax relief. The homestead exemption is currently $50,000 as of 2020. On the first $25,000 of your home’s value, you’ll pay no taxes. On the second $25,000, you won’t pay school taxes.
Another benefit of the homestead exemption is that it protects your home against creditor collections. This carries over to certain heirs as well, such as your spouse or children.
Finally, remember that the homestead laws can set restrictions on how your home is passed on after your death. If you have no spouse or minor children, you can leave your home to anyone. If you have a spouse, they will receive the property. With children only, your child will receive the home. If your child is a minor, then the home will go into an irrevocable trust until they are old enough to receive the asset.
This can all be confusing if you are working on your estate plan, so it’s a good idea to talk to your attorney about the steps you’d like to take and how a homestead exemption could help.