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Massachusetts Homestead Act

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									         The Massachusetts Homestead Act
Definition: In Massachusetts, an estate of Homestead is an interest in real property designed to protect the
possession and enjoyment of the owner or owner's surviving spouse and dependent children against the
claims of creditors by protecting the property from execution and forced sale, so long as such person
occupies or intends to occupy such property as his or her principal place of residence. M.G.L. c.188, ss. 1-
10.
The Massachusetts Homestead Act is a little-known law dating back to
colonial times which protects the homeowner from having to sell his
property in order to satisfy debts or judgements incurred after filing a
Declaration of Homestead at the appropriate Registry of Deeds. This
protection does not extend to IRS, DOR, real estate tax liens, or child
support judgements.
There are two types of Homesteads:
1. The Estate of Homestead (M.G.L. c. 188 sec. 1) may be declared by
an owner of a home for the benefit of himself and his family. This
Homestead has a value of $500,000.
2. The Elderly or Disabled Person Homestead (M.G.L. c. 188 sec. 1A) is
for elderly persons (age 62 or older) and disabled persons who meet the
requirement of the statute. This Homestead has a value of $500,000 per
person and may be declared by both spouses.

								
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