The New Massachusetts Homestead Law
by Katheryn Kerins
On March 16, 2011, the existing law on Declarations of Homestead will change. A Homestead is a document filed with the Registry of Deeds that protects the equity in your home up to $500,000.00 by preventing third parties from forcing you to sell it to pay a debt other than a mortgage. For example, a Homestead allows you to keep your home even if you owe money as a result of being sued or in the event you file bankruptcy.
The new law may impact the Homestead you currently have on file with the Registry of Deeds. Some of the many changes include the new requirement that a married individual name his or her spouse in the Homestead and that each spouse named in the deed executes a declaration. The law also provides for the creation of an automatic Homestead in the amount of $125,000.00 without the need to take any action. In order to receive the benefits of the higher protections under the new, however, you must file a new Homestead after March 16th.
The attorneys at Lian Zarrow want to make sure that you and your family are protected. Let us take the time to prepare and file a new Homestead for you at no additional cost except the recording fee of $35.00 charged by the Registry of Deeds.
The associates at Lian Zarrow look forward to helping you protect yourself, your home and your families.
Kathryn A. Kerins, Associate Attorney
Kathryn A. Kerins was admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2007, and has been an associate at Lian Zarrow since January 2010. Her LZES practice focuses on Family Law.
She previously handled a variety of family-law cases for a firm in Boston, appearing in the probate, district, housing and superior courts. In addition, she worked in family and probate law for justices in Worcester, Norfolk and Bristol counties as a judicial law clerk for the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Department.
While attending the New England School of Law, she interned for the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, an independent state agency of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that helps people with mental disabilities protect their rights and obtain appropriate services. She also participated in the law school's Mental Health Law Clinic program and tutored in its Charles Hamilton Houston Enrichment Program.
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
B.S. degree in psychology, magna cum laude, Endicott College
J.D. degree, magna cum laude, New England School of Law