Florida Homestead Planning

Whether you are a long-time Florida resident or
just thinking about moving to the Sunshine State,
you know the state offers a whole host of wonderful
benefits including a superior quality of life, no state
taxes and a warm, comfortable climate year round.
One of the other great benefits of living in Florida
is Florida’s Homestead Exemption.

Take Advantage of the Florida Homestead Exemption

If you own Florida property and make it your permanent residence (or the permanent residence of your dependent), then you may be eligible to receive a homestead tax exemption of up to $50,000 for property tax purposes. What’s more, the “Save Our Homes” Amendment to the Florida Constitution stipulates that the assessed value of your’s homestead property cannot increase by more than 3% per year or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less.

In addition, “homesteading” your property exempts the property from levy and execution by judgment creditors. Exceptions to this creditor protection include tax liens, mechanics’ liens associated with labor or materials to repair or improve the homestead property, and voluntary liens including mortgages and homeowners’ association liens.

The caveat to the Florida Homestead Exemption is that only a “natural person” qualifies for the protection; therefore, properties titled in the name of irrevocable trusts, corporations, limited liability companies or partnerships will not qualify unless certain language referenced above is included in the trust document or other legal document depending on the form of legal entity assuring that equitable title to the property remains with the individual/natural person. The same issue does not apply regarding properties owned by a revocable trust.

How do you qualify a property as homestead property in order to obtain all of the above benefits? The protections attach the day you first occupy the property with the intent to make it your permanent Florida homestead. Co-ownership of the property may jeopardize the exemption if one of the co-owners does not reside on the property.

The Florida Homestead Exemption requires that an individual be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident, a Florida resident, that he or she does not have an exemption from any other state on another property, and that he or she occupies his/her home on January 1, and files papers with the county tax assessor or property appraiser to claim homestead by March 1. Even a Snowbird who lives in his/her homestead property during the cold months and who heads up north during the warmer months could rent his/her home during those warmer months without losing the homestead exemption, provided that the property remains the primary residence of the individual.

Elder Law Associates PA can assist you with homestead planning to help you qualify for the Florida Homestead Exemption. For more information, please contact us or call 1-800-ELDERLAW or (561) 750-3850 today.

How New Florida Constitutional Amendments May Affect Your Homestead Exemption and Property Taxes

Two new amendments approved by Florida voters in November 2020 may affect your property taxes. Both amendments became effective January 1, 2021. Amendment 5 to the Florida Constitution extends the time frame within which portability benefits can be transferred from two to three years. Amendment 6 extends the property tax exemption of combat-wounded veterans to their surviving spouses.

What Does This Mean for You?

Regarding portability, Amendment 5 will enable eligible homesteaded property owners to pay less on their property taxes on their new homes by moving their “Save Our Homes” savings (up to $500,000) from one Florida property to another when establishing their Homestead Exemption on their new property. Since January 1, 2021, property owners now have three years to use this portability. New property owners must apply for a Homestead Exemption and submit a Portability Application within three years of the abandonment of the Homestead Exemption at their previous property.

Amendment 6 now extends the Disabled Veteran’s Exemption, a Homestead Exemption for combat-wounded veterans, to their surviving spouses. Prior to January 1, combat-wounded veterans age 65 and older were able to receive a property tax discount equal to their combat-related disability rating percentage on their homesteaded property. This discount expired on the veteran’s death and was not extended to the veteran’s spouse. The new amendment allows the veteran’s surviving spouse to continue to receive the Homestead Exemption until the spouse either remarries or sells the property. If the spouse sells the property and does not remarry, the spouse may file for and receive a discount on a new homestead property as long as the exemption amount doesn’t exceed the amount from the most recent ad valorem tax roll at his or her previous homesteaded residence.

Annual Senior Exemption Renewal Update

If you received the Senior Homestead Exemption in 2020, please note that renewal is not automatic. This exemption will not be listed on your Homestead Exemption renewal receipt. You will receive a new 2021 Senior Homestead Exemption card in February and must complete it and submit it to your Property Appraiser’s office before September 2021 to renew your Senior Homestead Exemption for the 2021 tax year. Keep an eye out for that renewal card coming in the mail.

If you have any questions about how the new amendments may affect your property taxes or the Senior Homestead Exemption, please contact your Florida county property appraiser’s office.

Having gone through an extremely difficult Medicaid application process for my father in Florida years ago and with the recent passing of my mother I desperately needed to find a competent and understanding law firm that could expedite and help me with elder care legal issues for my uncle in Boca.

— Name withheld by request

Living in NYC with nobody to take care of my sick uncle 1,400 miles away, I found the expertise and compassion of Howard Krooks and his wonderful firm to be incredible. I would highly recommend them to anyone and already have.

— D.L., New York, NY

When my mom had a stroke -- and unfortunately due to her diabetes -- needed to be moved full time to a nursing home, I needed to qualify her for Medicaid, as the cost of proper care is prohibitive. Ellen and her team did an outstanding job, helping to reallocate my mom's assets and quickly qualifying her for Medicaid benefits. It would be almost impossible for the typical person to get through this process in such a short period of time.

I truly thank Elder Law Associates PA for making this happen.

— M.L., Syosset, NY

Very well satisfied. The service was great in communicating all documents and proceedings with us to fully understand everything. The staff was AWESOME! In the future, (if) I know anyone, I will refer you.

— J.M., Boca Raton, FL

I want to tell you how impressed I am with your video. I love that it is not one of the run-of-the-mill sales-pitch videos. It is warm and friendly and from the heart, and makes the viewer (me) feel very welcome to be friends with both of you, although I never met Howie. The two of you seem to have a partnership made in Heaven ... Hope you get at least 25 more years together. My best wishes to you both, and thank you for the work you did for us.

— B.K., Winter Haven, FL

I have been in the Real Estate Business for a little over 50 years and have dealt with literally thousands of attorneys over that time. Ellen Morris has handled my personal account - every time I always comment how great she is.

— D.C., Leesburg, FL

My wife had dementia and there was the eventual problem of running out of insurance coverage and the tax ramifications when she died. I had business fears from an Industrial Park that I owned and all the liabilities from a few business entities that I also owned, Ellen was recommended at least 8 or 9 years ago. This recommendation was the best recommendation that I have ever received. She not only knows all the laws, but also keeps up with all the new requirements that are here in a changing environment.

— D.C., Leesburg, FL

One of the outstanding things about her firm (Elder Law Associates PA) and especially her (Ellen Morris), is the understanding of all the fears one has, and her solving of them. Every time I have had a question, she was there, with an answer and solution before the day was over. She was over fair with her billing - I always felt it was Christmas and she was giving me a present.

— D.C., Leesburg, FL

I was running a company doing over $100 million in sales and I am over 80 years old, so I am in a position to admire super professionalism and great patience tempered with a great degree of empathy. When asked what attorney to use, there is nobody to hold a candle to Ellen Morris, Esq.

— D.C., Leesburg, FL
View More Testimonials

Contact Us

If you would like more information about Elder Law Associates PA and our services, or would like us to get in touch with you to discuss a legal matter, please send us a message.

Stay Updated

Not ready for a consultation yet? Get the latest updates about elder law by email. Join the Elder Law Associates PA mailing list today!

Sign Up
Howard S. Krooks
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...
Ellen S. Morris
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...
Howard S. Krooks
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...
Ellen S. Morris
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...
Howard S. Krooks
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...
10.0Howard S. Krooks
10.0Ellen Sue Morris