What You Need to Know About Homesteads
There are additional benefits available to Massachusetts residents who are 62-years-of-age or order and for Massachusetts residences who live with a recognized disability.
Homeowners can only have one primary residence (single family home, condominium unit or trailer park home). Any property that is used as investment property or as a second home is not eligible for homestead protection.
Here are a few examples of protections:
- If a parent who declares the homestead dies, the law protects the family’s right to use, occupy and enjoy the home.
- Protections are extended to spouses who do not co-own the residence and to minor children.
- Protection extends automatically to a new spouse where an unmarried person declared a homestead and later marries.
- Divorcing spouses are protected against the loss of homestead through termination or divorce.
- Neither divorce nor remarriage will affect the homestead of the spouse who still uses the home as his or her primary residence.
- Upon sale of the residence, proceeds are protected up to either (i) one year after the date of the sale or (ii) the date on which the seller purchases a new primary residence, whichever is earlier.
Homestead protections are not applicable to or may be superseded by:
- unpaid federal, state and municipal taxes and liens.
- liens of secured creditors.
- orders for the payment of alimony and/or child support.
- court-ordered awards for damages resulting from a homeowner’s intentional or negligent actions, such as fraud or violent assault.
- liens that pre-date the creation of the homestead.
For more information, you can contact us or visit The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s website.