Oct 032012
 
Obtaining The Florida Homestead Tax Exemption Following Transfer To A Trust

Article VII, Section 6 of the Florida Constitution currently allows for homestead protection from ad valorem real property taxes.  The effect of this provision is to exempt the first $25,000 of property value for all purposes and also to exempt another $25,000 of value for homes worth up to $75,000 for all purposes but the property taxes calculated for schools.  This exemption may be further expanded following the 2012 election. Many people wonder how they can preserve their homestead protection from taxes if the property is transferred to a revocable or irrevocable trust.  Florida Statute § 196.031(1)(a) says that every More…

Jul 122012
 
When May A Surviving Spouse Elect To Take 1/2 Of The Homestead?

Article X, Section 4(c) of the Florida Constitution imposes restrictions on the transfer or devise of homestead property.  While living, a husband and wife who own homestead property may transfer an interest in this property only if both of them sign the deed, mortgage, or other conveyance.  Upon death, there are limits upon how an individual can devise homestead property that are largely dependent on who survives the decedent. If someone attempts to devise the homestead in a manner that is not authorized by Florida law or the Florida Constitution, the Florida Statutes determine the proper manner of descent.  The More…

Jun 142012
 
The Pitfalls Of Placing A Florida Residence Into A Revocable Trust

One of the essential tools in the Florida estate planning attorney’s toolbox is the revocable living trust.  These trusts are an effective method for avoiding the arduous Florida probate process while also protecting family privacy and helping to plan for the possibility of incompetency.  So what is the problem with using these marvelous instruments to hold the family residence? Many people are under the impression that holding a personal residence in a revocable trust is an innately bad thing, especially when it comes to protection from creditors.  Back in 2001, Florida estate planners became alarmed at a bankruptcy case which More…

May 132011
 

In a recent Florida appellate decision, Marger v. De Rosa, the Second District Court of Appeals found that a deceased man’s interest in his home, which he owned jointly with his mother, was not homestead property and thus would not pass for the benefit of the man’s two minor children under Florida law. The man and his mother purchased the home in Largo, Florida and received a deed which stated that the two individuals owned the home as, “joint tenants with full right of survivorship and not as tenants in common.” Years later, when the man died, he left behind More…