The homestead protection that the Florida Constitution provides is among one of the many benefits of living here.  Homestead’s main objective is to protect the family home.  However, homestead creates unique situations when it comes to probate. When a homestead property owner dies there are restrictions on how the property can be transferred to the family regardless of what a will says. Specifically, these restrictions come into play when the decedent has a spouse or minor children.

Who gets the property will depend on who survives the decedent. If the decedent leaves a spouse but no minor children, the spouse gets the property. If a decedent leaves a spouse and a minor child, the spouse gets a life estate in the property, with the property going to the minor child upon the spouse’s death. In the case that the decedent leaves a spouse and only adult children, the spouse also gets only a life estate. However, in this case the decedent may choose to leave the remainder interest to the children or the spouse.

The most important thing to remember is that the homestead laws override any clause in your will. Therefore, if the decedent is survived by a spouse or a minor lineal descendant, the decedent is not free to give the property to just anyone in a will. This makes it crucial to understand the effects homestead property will have on your overall estate plan.

For more information on successful Florida estate planning and probate, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Pardo, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at to schedule your free consultation.

It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?