Often people hear a homestead mentioned, but what exactly is a homestead and what protection can it afford me? A Declaration of Homestead is a document that is recorded at the Registry of Deeds in the county in which you live in order to protect the equity in your property. In Massachusetts, if you own a home as a primary residence, you can file for this homestead exemption even if you are single and do not have a family. As of October 26, 2004, the homestead exemption protects up to $500,000.00 worth of equity in one's primary residence from attachments or executions obtained by you or your spouse's creditors, except for any debt acquired prior to the declaration or taxes owed by you. While the costs are minimal and the rewards are substantial, most people do not take advantage of the homestead exemption.
The rewards are even greater if you are disabled or elderly. Any disabled person, who has a permanent physical or mental impairment which would meet the requirements to apply for supplemental social security income, or if you are over 65 years of age, can elect the elderly and/or disabled person homestead exemption along with his/her spouse, resulting in total protection of up to $600,000.00 in one's primary residence.
Contact us at the Law Offices of Lipsey & Clifford, P.C. to find out more about the protections of the Homestead Act in Massachusetts and how you can take the first step in protecting the equity in your primary residence today.
If you have any questions, please contact attorney Scott Clifford or one of our many office locations across the South Shore.