Cape Coral, FL asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Florida

Q: I bought a home in Florida for my mom, I want to add her to the deed so her save our homes exemption is applied, can I?

This is my first home, I don’t have a previous save our homes homestead exemption. I am buying the house but my mother is living in it. If I add her to the deed will she be able to transfer her save our homes to the new house? As it would be 50% ownership, would 50% of the exemption be applied? The new house is less than her house 330k, her house will sell at around 430k. Also if I transfer the deed of the new house to her completely can she use all of the save our homes exemption from her house? Thank you

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2 Lawyer Answers
Jacqueline Alicia Salcines
Jacqueline Alicia Salcines pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: What a nice gesture. You can absolutely add her in via a Quit Claim Deed. I would strongly urge you to hire a real estate lawyer to prepare one so it is done right. Errors in deeds are costly specially when trying to correct them after many years and at the time of sale. As co-tenants you can hold title as either tenants in common, where when either one of you passes, the heirs of the decedent would be on title with the remaining title holder. Or as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship, where when the first person passes, their share goes 100% to the person left on title. As far as percentages, if not stated in the deed, it is assumed 50/50 but you can say 70% and 30%, as long as its written in the face. Lastly, any title transfer may trigger a reassessment for tax purposes and homestead, so be careful. Speak to a real estate lawyer to help you. The first consult is always free of charge.

James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Florida, the "Save Our Homes" homestead exemption is specific to the property that serves as the primary residence for the homeowner. Adding your mother to the deed of your new home as a co-owner could have some implications for the exemption.

Partial Exemption: If you add your mother to the deed, she may be eligible for a partial homestead exemption based on her percentage of ownership. However, it's essential to note that her exemption on the previous home will not directly transfer to the new property, as it's tied to her previous primary residence.

New Home Value: Since the new home's value is less than her previous home, she would likely receive an exemption based on the assessed value of the new property. The exemption amount will be calculated accordingly.

Transfer of Deed: If you decide to transfer the deed of the new home completely to your mother, she could potentially claim the homestead exemption on the new property as her primary residence. However, the previous property's exemption would no longer apply once it's sold.

It's crucial to consult with a Florida real estate attorney or the local property appraiser's office to ensure you navigate these changes correctly and make informed decisions regarding the homestead exemption and property ownership. Laws regarding homestead exemptions can be complex, and professional guidance can help you maximize the benefits while complying with state regulations.

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