Homestead Clarifications Sent to Governor

04/09/2012 1:53 PM | Anonymous

HB 733 was part of the package sent to the Governor last week.  He has until April 21 to act.

The first issue addressed in HB 733 is simply bringing the statutes into conformity with judicial interpretations.   We have long known that Tenancy by the Entireties properties and properties held as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship passed automatically to the survivor upon death and were not subject to the constitutional prohibition on devise.  Ostyn v. Olympic, 455 So.2d 1137 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984); see also Marger v. De Rosa, 57 So.3d 866 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011).   The bill amends the current definition of “protected homestead” to expressly state that “real property owned in tenancy by the entireties or in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship is not protected homestead.”

The bill also clarifies the timeframes for a surviving spouse, who would normally receive a life estate in homestead property to elect instead to receive an undivided one-half interest in the homestead as a tenant in common.

Currently a natural or adoptive parent whose parental rights have been terminated may still inherit through intestate succession upon the death of the child.  The bill creates §732.1081, Fla. Stat., treats the parent as having predeceased for inheritance purposes upon termination of parental rights. 

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