Planning for Life

Homestead Declaration Stands Up Despite Substantial Time Spent Out of State

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 30, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

Local color Wharf reflections at sunrise in New England

Homestead declarations primarily come into play in the event of of bankruptcy. In such cases, they will protect the first $500,000 of equity in the home from claims of creditors. In order to qualify for the exemption, however, the homeowners must establish that the property serves as their residence. That's what was in question in the bankruptcy case of In re: Andrea A. Angera, Jr. (Civil Action Nos. 1:21-CV-10547-RWZ and 1:21-CV-10560-RWZ) (Nov. 4, 2021). a First Circuit Court of Appeals decision on an appeal of the bankruptcy court decision.

In the bankruptcy proceeding, after a three-day trial, Judge Melvin S. Hoffman (from whose law firm I sublet space several decades ago) found that although Andrea Angera spent most of his time for several years in Connecticut and Maine, his property in Martha's Vineyard remained his primary residence.

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Topics: homestead protections, estate taxes, domicile

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