If you choose to file a Declaration of Homestead, your home will be protected for up to $500,000.
When can a homeowner file a Declaration of Homestead?
How can I file a Declaration of Homestead and how much does it cost?
First, under the Homestead Statute, at present, a homeowner wishing to avail him or herself of the statute's protection is required to file a declaration of homestead in the appropriate registry of deeds evidencing the intention to avail oneself of the protection.
(70) Under Section 1, a maximum automatic homestead declaration is created without the requirement of a formal, recorded declaration of homestead and every homeowner is entitled to a maximum exemption of $125,000 in the subject residence.
The estate of homestead of each owner who is an elderly or disabled person, regardless of marital status, shall be protected under this section against attachment, seizure, execution on judgment and levy, except as provided in subsection (c) of section one, to the extent of the maximum declared homestead exemption; provided that a declaration of homestead protection for such elderly or disabled person that complies with section two has been recorded; and, provided further, that such person occupies or intends to occupy such home as his or her principal residence.
An owner of a home who qualifies under the provisions of this section shall, upon recording of an elderly or disabled person's declaration of homestead protection, be eligible for protection of such ownership interest to the extent of the maximum declared homestead exemption as set forth in subsections (3) and (4) of the definition regardless of whether such declaration is recorded individually or jointly with another.
Each declaration of homestead shall be in writing, signed and acknowledged under penalty of perjury by each owner to be benefited by the homestead, except as provided in subparagraph (d), shall be recorded and shall comply with the following:
(2) with respect to a declaration of homestead benefiting a disabled person, there shall be recorded with the declaration either: (i) an original or certified copy of a disability award letter issued to the person by the United States Social Security Administration; or (ii) a letter signed by a licensed physician registered with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine certifying that the person meets the disability requirements stated in 42 USC 1382c(a)(3)(A) and (C) as in effect at the time of recording.
A declaration of homestead may not be created within a deed or other instrument vesting title in the owner.