A Florida homestead is one of the strongest protections from creditors available in the country and can help individuals and their families protect their Florida Homestead property. Establishing and funding a Florida Homestead is one technique used by Florida Asset Protection Lawyers to help protect a family's wealth and assets from creditors claims.
Florida's constitutionally protected Homestead is one of the strongest protections available to us. This protection exempts property from enforcement of claims from creditors that are not associated with the property. Florida courts include a house, condominium, manufactured home, and some mobile homes in their definition of a property protected by homestead. The Florida Constitution's definition of homestead describes one's principal home or residence including the land it sits upon (1/2 acre maximum in the city and 160 acres of continuous land in a remote or rural area)
A requirement of the homestead protection is to have a primary residence in the state of Florida and be a Florida resident. If you purchase property it will only become protected when you move in and use it as your primary residence.
You cannot have two homesteads in Florida. Thus a second piece of property, house whether for your use or only owned as an investment cannot be protected by the homestead provisions of the Florida Constitution. The homestead must be owned by individuals or titled inside a revocable or living trust. Property titled in other trusts or businesses types will not qualify for the Florida Homestead protection.
Florida's homestead protection offers offer unlimited protection of the value in the home. A homestead can protect a huge house or a small condominium.
In most cases you can transfer and protect money at any time into your homestead even when the transfer appears to be for the protection of the money from a claim by a creditor. (Unless the money was obtained by fraud, deceit, or an egregious method.)
There are other exceptions from the Florida Homestead protections. These include mortgages and debts associated with the land or building on it like a tax lien or homeowner association fees. This protection is also limited with the new Bankruptcy laws (if a bankruptcy is involved). You should check with a Bankruptcy specialist as to what your protections will be with a Florida homestead.
If you think Asset Protection may be appropriate or you feel that there is a potential risk you would like to limit, CONTACT our Florida Asset Protection Lawyers by email or call us at 904-685-1200 to discuss your situation today.