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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