Many people choose to move to Florida for the enjoyable climate, numerous attractions, outdoor activities, and easy living. What many people don’t realize, is the fact that Florida is an attractive state in which to live, due to attractive tax and asset protection laws. Over the coming weeks we will examine different aspects to Florida tax and asset protection laws, and how you may take advantage of those laws to financially benefit you and your family. This week we will focus on a unique Florida law for asset protection: Homestead Property.
Homestead Property in Florida
Florida is one of only a few states that protect homestead property from creditors claims. Most creditors cannot force the sale of homestead property to satisfy their claims. The Homestead Exemption in Florida is a very strong form of asset protection because it is contained in The Florida Constitution, Florida Statutes, and has been upheld in Florida courts.
How do you qualify your property as Homestead in Florida?
Florida allows for property to the extent of one-half acre in a municipality to qualify as homestead. As much as 160 acres of property can qualify for homestead if it is located outside a municipality. Persons owning property in Florida must take several steps to qualify for the Homestead Exemption. A person or persons must have legal or beneficial title to the property, intend to permanently reside in Florida, reside on the property, and intend to make the property their primary residence. Additionally, the property must be owned by a natural person, not an LLC or corporation.
Limitations to the Homestead Exemption in Florida
The Homestead Exemption is a great tool for asset protection, however there are some limitations to its protection. Any liens that existed before the property qualified as your homestead can be satisfied through a forced sale. Furthermore, the Homestead Exemption will not protect your property from tax liens, condominium or HOA assessments, mortgages, or liens incurred to repair or improve the property.
If you are interested in how you can take advantage of Florida’s Homestead Exemption to your advantage contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC to help you with your needs. Call us today @ (561) 699-0399 or set-up an appointment to come visit us at our Lantana, Florida office location.
Next week the series will discuss Florida’s favorable income tax laws, especially in relation to individuals with homes in other states.