An estate of homestead is only available for a persons primary residence. The new homestead law took effect on March 16, 2011.
Below is a link to an eight page document authored by Secretary Galvin’s office regarding the homestead law entitled: The Homestead Act: Questions and Answers. If you read this document, you will know everything you would ever want to know about the law in Massachusetts.
Here is a brief summary for those of us too busy to read 8 pages:
- Homeowners are entitled to an automatic homestead protection worth $125,000.
- If you properly sign and record a declaration of homestead with the registry of deeds, the amount of protection increases to $500,000.
- The declared homestead protects against attachment, seizure, execution on judgment, levy or sale for the payment of debts.
- Additional protections exist for people who are disabled or 62 or over.
- The homestead law does not protect you from: federal, state, and local taxes, assessments, claims and liens, mortgage foreclosures, probate court executions.
How does the Massachusetts law compare with other New England states? See for yourself…
The highlight: New Hampshire’s is also automatic but the amount is only up to $100,000 per person.
The highlight: you have to live there for 12 months before you can even apply! Massachusetts has no such requirement.