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What Is a Declaration of Homestead?

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Some homeowners choose to protect their property by filing a Declaration of Homestead.

Familiarize yourself with the basics of this legal document if you are having trouble deciding whether or not to obtain one for your property.

 

Declaration of Homestead

 

Function

Based on Homestead Law, a Declaration of Homestead protects the value of a home from creditors’ claims, lawsuits and bankruptcy. The percentage of a home’s value protected by homestead laws varies by state.

 

Features

A Declaration of Homestead covers the following property types: a house on a plot of land and its appurtenances; mobile homes; and condominium units.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible for the protection offered by a Declaration of Homestead, the property in question must be the owner’s primary residence. In a homestead context, the term “owner” applies to tenants, joint tenants and sole owners–provided that only one owner requests homestead protection for a given property.

 

Preparation

Homeowners who wish to file a Declaration of Homestead must sign the document in front of a Notary Public and file it with the County Recorder for the county in which the property is found.

 

Termination

Certain circumstances result in the termination of an existing Declaration of Homestead. Examples include the transfer of ownership or sale of the property during the declarant’s lifetime, death of the declarant and remarriage of the surviving spouse of the declarant.

 

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