Skip to main content

Does my step mother give up her homestead in probate if she buys a new house & moves?

Jacksonville, FL |

My step mother won homestead rights or what ever & my mom, sister & I are to have the house but my step mother(fathers 2nd wife) is protected by this homestead law thing. However she moved out of it two years ago, let the property fall in disarray getting citations from the city. I have paid the last two years tax's & all the maintenance. She also bought a house with her new boyfriend. Cant I file something like judgment set aside her homestead or for an Order to show cause? It would seem to me that ONE she has a responsibility to keep up the house & its taxes so the descendants HAVE a house later;and TWO that she doesnt need the homestead protection if she doesnt live in and has another home already.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


You may well have a cause of action, under the facts you describe. Her moving from the house is not necessarily an issue, because she would have the right to rent it. The fact that she is failing to maintain it and pay the current expenses is a real problem, however. It sounds like her actions would constitute "waste," which would be a reason to set aside the life estate. You should consult with a lawyer to discuss the situation in more detail and to determine how best to proceed.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


As my colleague stated, the issue is not whether she vacates the property but that she is allowing it to waste away by not maintaining it. You should seek the advice of an experienced real estate litigation attorney in your area at once. You have rights that should be enforced.

Answers to questions on this site are not intended to be specific legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship. Hiring an attorney is a very important process which requires a high degree of diligence as well as entering into an agreement regarding the services to be provided and the fees to be charged.


You should consult with an attorney. If you had an attorney during the probate proceeding, he or she should be able to assist you. Not paying the taxes and maintaining the home constitutes waste. A life tenant is responsible for the taxes and maintaining the home.

Wills and estates topics

Recommended articles about Wills and estates

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer