If I am over 62 and my spouse is under 62, should we both file?

No. The law states that only one spouse under 62 years of age can file a Homestead under Section 1 on behalf of themselves and his or her family. However, for elderly and disabled individuals, the protection of $500,000 under Section 1A is for each person's ownership interest in the residence. If a non-elderly homestead exemption already exists and one of the spouses reaches the age of 62, it would seem to be beneficial to have that person file an over 62 (elderly) homestead. However, because of a recent Bankruptcy Court decision, it would be safer for both parties to continue to claim the protection afforded by the traditional (under age 62) homestead. This is because Section 2 of Chapter 188 states "The acquisition of a new estate or claim of homestead shall defeat and discharge any such previous estate". That means that the filing of an elderly homestead by either spouse would rescind the under age 62 homestead and open up the claim period for previous creditors. It would be better to wait until both spouses reach 62 and then file a joint elderly homestead. In all cases, you may want to consult an attorney.

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1. What is a Declaration of Homestead/Homestead Protection?
2. Where do I file my Homestead?
3. How am I protected?
4. How am I protected if I am 62 or older, or disabled?
5. What does the Homestead Law mean by a “disabled person”?
6. Are my spouse and children covered, should I pass away?
7. If I am over 62 and my spouse is under 62, should we both file?
8. Will my Homestead Declaration protect my home from being taken if I go into a nursing home?
9. Is there anything I will not be protected from?
10. Can (a) trustee(s) file for home Homestead protection?
11. What happens to my Homestead if I should re-mortgage or take out a second mortgage or home equity loan?
12. If I divide my time equally between my winter and summer residences, can I declare a Homestead on both?
13. Does the Homestead protection take the place of home insurance?
14. How does the Homestead Declaration help protect a home against unsecured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings?
15. Where can additional information be obtained about bankruptcy issues as they apply to Homestead protection?
16. Is the Homestead form difficult to understand and fill out?
17. Can my Homestead be terminated?
18. What is the filing fee?
19. How can I tell if my real property is recorded or registered land?