January 2013

Massachusetts law currently allows owners of residential real estate to declare a Homestead in their principal residence. Once recorded, the Declaration of Homestead protects up to $500,000 of the equity in the home from the claims of certain creditors. For couples over the age of 62, each spouse is permitted to file a Declaration of Homestead, protecting an aggregate of $1,000,000 in equity in the home. A recent amendment to the law expanded the protection to trustees of a trust which owns real property, allowing the trustees to record a Declaration of Homestead, which protects beneficiaries of the trust who reside in the property.

For a useful pamphlet prepared by the Secretary of the Commonwealth regarding Homestead, click here.

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