In order to qualify for the Homestead tax exemption, the property owner must be a permanent resident of the property and reside on it.
This can become an issue for senior citizens. Very often our clients will put in a change of address so the mail is forwarded to the children who are now handling finances, paying bills etc. Or the parent may be living temporarily in an assisted living, nursing home or rehab facility but intends to return when they are able.
This change of address may trigger a letter from the property appraiser questioning whether the owner is still a resident.
It can also trigger a denial of the homestead exemption.
This can be very frightening to senior citizens.
Why is the property appraiser doing this? The property appraiser is making sure that people are not getting their homestead exemption and living out of state.
Usually a phone call followed by a letter to the property appraiser explaining that this is still the permanent residence of the senior will fix the problem. The property appraisers generally understands that sometimes the kids pay the bills or mom is in an ALF and even if returning home is not likely, that is still mom’s home and she has the goal to return.
I usually warn my families not to do change of addresses or forward mail if possible. If it is the only way, I warn them to advise me immediately if they get a letter of denial from the property appraiser. They are generally very cooperative.
If you’ve got questions about this, we can answer them.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we get asked questions like this all the time. In fact, we’ve been answering questions like these from South Florida families for the past 33 years. And we’ve been helping them secure their own futures as well as their children’s…with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid and the VA.
We can answer your questions. And we’re only a phone call away.
The Homestead Tax Exemption and Forwarding Mail