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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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