Your Florida homestead is not subject to creditor or nursing home claims


In Florida, your homestead (not your rental or vacation home) is not subject to creditor or nursing home claims.


Sarah: I have a convoluted situation. When my mother passed away, she willed her house to me and my brother so it's 50-50. He is fully disabled and in the meantime, I had put in about $15,000 into the house to fix it up. An attorney had recommended and I went ahead and put a lien on the house. I have the paperwork. He agreed to it fully. If anything happened to him, going into maybe a nursing home or he passes away, at least I would get that $15,000 back. Now, he is pretty sickly. He's going in for some surgery. It sounds like I'm hanging the crate now, but I'm just trying to prepare myself in case something does happen if he goes into a home or if he does end up passing away.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right. Let me back up here. The lien that you put on there would've been signed by your brother as well. I assumed he signed that lien. Is that correct?

Sarah: That is correct and I have the original paperwork.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Does your brother live there?

Sarah: Yes he does.

Attorney Tom Olsen: If we looked at the court order or the deed where we put it into you and your brother's names, are the words 'joint tenants rights of survivorship' on it?

Sarah: That I don't know.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Sarah, the good news is, all in all, this is your brother's homestead, therefore, it is not subject to creditor claims, doctors, hospitals, credit cards et cetera or nursing homes. I'm not worried about that. Sarah, what I'm more concerned about is avoiding probate when your brother passes away. That would definitely make sure that there's not going to be any creditor claims on it.

Sarah, you need to pull out the piece of paper that says that you and your brother own it and confirm hopefully the words 'joint tenants rights of survivorship' are on that piece of paper. If not, then I'd like for you to do a new deed. It'd be a deed from you and your brother, to you and your brother, but make these magic words 'joint tenants rights of survivorship'. That way, when he passes away, the property will automatically go to you, no probate required.