Is Life Estate Protected Homestead Interest?

Jon Alper Homestead Exemption

What type of legal interest in a house qualifies for Florida homestead protection? For example, a caller asked about a situation where a parent was living with a child and paying some of the household expenses as a form of rent. The parent was being chased by their creditors. The caller was concerned that if a creditor claimed the parent was renting the house the creditor could levy upon the parent’s leasehold interest and cause the parent to be evicted. He suggested that he give the parent a life estate interest in the house by quit claim deed.

I think that the parent’s right to stay in the house would be protected from the parent’s creditors if the parent had a recorded life estate and continued to reside in the house. Homestead protection is broadly construed to protect Florida residents, and a partial ownership interest should qualify as a legal interest protected by homestead. On the other hand, it is unlikely, though possible, that the parent’s right to reside in the house with the child’s permission would be taken by a creditor because the leasehold would also probably be protected under homestead law. I haven’t researched the protection of either type of legal interest so my opinion is an educated guess.

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