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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Homestead Property and Florida Probate

Florida law regarding homestead is quite complex, with Florida appellate courts constantly addressing homestead issues. A recent appellate court decision summarized various principles of Florida law when a decedent's homestead was left under his Last Will to his three children:

the homestead property passed free of claims of the decedent's creditors since all of the devisees were heirs of the decedent, that is, they were within the class of persons who could be a beneficiary of the decedent under the laws of intestacy;

the homestead was not part of the probate estate as there was no explicit direction to sell the homestead;

even though not part of the probate estate, the personal representative nonetheless could take control over the homestead to protect it;

however, this power of control did not give the personal representative the power to sell the homestead.

Harrell v. Snyder et al, 5th District Court of Appeals Case No. 5D04-1961 (November 4, 2005)

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