$35 fee to protect up to $500,000 in homestead exemption
Homeowners today can avail themselves of what some call "free insurance" on their property. The Massachusetts Homestead Statute, passed to protect a family home occupied as a principal residence from the claims of creditors, recognizes the value of securing a home for a family regardless of the homeowners' financial condition and does so at a relatively low cost.
The statute, amended by legislation that went into effect on October 26, 2004, protects the equity in the home of a homestead declarant for up to $500,000. This means that if a creditor brings a claim against the homeowner subsequent to the filing of the homestead, the first $500,000 in equity in the home will be protected from that creditor's claims.
The benefits of a homestead declaration are not limited to the person who files the declaration, but rather extend to their family. Thus, the spouse and minor children of a homestead declarant will be entitled to the benefits of the homestead exemption, even though they are not the original declarant.
The homestead exemption is a life estate, meaning that it benefits the declarant during their lifetime. However, if a person dies leaving a spouse and minor children, the homestead continues for their benefit provided that one of them continues to occupy the home.