How Does Hurricane Ian Affect Your Homestead?


Beautiful yellow house - Salas Law Firm Florida has homestead protection laws that secure your primary residence from a lot of potential threats: rising property taxes, probate, and creditors. This protection stays in place even if your home is damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ian, and even applies to the insurance proceeds you may receive in the aftermath. However, if you fail to maintain this protection, it might be wiped out.

What is a Homestead in Florida?

The simplest definition is that a homestead is your main residence in Florida. This could be a condominium, a residence with a half-acre of contiguous property (within a municipality) or 160 acres (outside a municipality).

As we stated at the beginning, Florida law protects your homestead against any judgment that may be issued against you. Exceptions do exist if you executed a mortgage, became subject to a tax lien, or intentionally waived your rights, but overall, no one can take your home without your permission, even if you pass away. 

What if Your Homestead is Damaged by Hurricane Ian?

So how does this tie in with Hurricane Ian damage? In general, if you sell your homestead, keep the proceeds separate from your other finances, and intend to buy a new home, those funds are protected. This security also applies to insurance proceeds you may receive if your home was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ian- provided you follow the same rule regarding separation of the money from your other funds.

In addition:

  • Consult an attorney before signing anything related to those proceeds – you may involuntarily waive your rights.
  • Make sure you maintain your homestead protection in the event that you pass while repairs are underway.

Moreover, if you stand to inherit a homestead that has been damaged by Hurricane Ian, you should make sure you file the proper documentation to protect the proceeds from creditors. This step should be taken under the direction of an experienced Florida real estate lawyer. 

Questions? Speak to a Real Estate Attorney Today! 

Insurance proceeds related to a damaged or destroyed homestead are protected by Florida law. With respect to these proceeds, whether they are yours or related to a homestead you may inherit, you should consult a Florida lawyer familiar with homestead laws. Taking the necessary steps can prevent creditors from taking money they wouldn’t otherwise be entitled to, adding to the overall loss you may suffer from Hurricane Ian.

If you’re preparing to file an insurance claim to cover damaged property and have questions about your homestead rights, the Salas Law Firm can give you the advice and representation you need to protect your home. To learn more about how we can help Florida homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ian, contact our office at (954) 315-1155 today.

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John Salas