It is no surprise that Florida is different from the other 49 states. (Exhibit A: Google “Florida Voter Recount”) What is confusing to some probate attorneys outside the state – and many within the state – is our unique Procedure for “Probating” Homestead Property. Pursuant to Florida Statute 733.607, protected Florida homestead property is not considered a probate asset, so why does it usually require a probate proceeding?
First, we must define what is homestead. Homestead is real property, of no more than 160 contiguous acres outside a municipality, or no more than one-half of an acre of contiguous land in a municipality, owned by a natural person, and the improvements on it. Art. X, §4(a), Fla. Const. In addition, to qualify for homestead it must be the decedent’s primary or permanent residence prior to death and the property must be owned by a natural person.