The Texas Homestead Law

The Texas Homestead Law has historically been designed to protect the property owner with regard to the individual or family residence. There are three primary benefits from a Texas Homestead:

1.) Protection from a Forced Sale

If an individual should become liable to another person as a result of a judgment rendered in a lawsuit, the individual against whom the judgment has been taken may not be forced to sell his or her homestead to satisfy the judgment. The obvious exceptions to this rule are for those who lend money used to purchase the homestead (typically a mortgage relationship), or the property may also be sold if there are unpaid property taxes (ad valorem taxes) on the property or if money is owed for work and material used in constructing improvements on the property if contracted for properly in writing as provided by applicable provisions of Texas law; and to satisfy an Internal Revenue Service tax lien. Texas and Florida are the two most prominent states to offer this generous protection for its residents against forced sale to pay debts owed aside from those specified above.

2.) Protection set out to the Surviving Spouse under the Texas State Constitution

Under Texas law, a surviving spouse as well as dependent children of the deceased person have the right to occupy the house for as long as the surviving spouse shall live. If there is indebtedness on the house, the surviving spouse will have a responsibility to make mortgage payments to prevent the house from being sold. Nevertheless, if an individual dies and leaves his or her house to another person, the other persons right to enjoy or sell the property that was once a homestead will be delayed for so long as the surviving spouse chooses to occupy the property.

A third benefit, of less importance than the two discussed above is:

3.) Many Taxing Authorities offer a lower tax rate to individuals who occupy their homes as their homestead under Texas Law

Category : Probate Law

3 Comments → “The Texas Homestead Law”

  1. teresa hitt
    8 years ago

    how can a texas homestead claim be given after the will has already been read and accepted. one year after death and the real property has already been deeded to widow and adult children. now she is trying to take everything. even though they the attorney still says this is not contesting the will. this was my grandfathers property with attached mineral rights. she’s already blown through all p.o.d. and the house is in forclosure and the mercedes was repoed. any advice from concerned daughter

  2. Bill Bartmann
    8 years ago

    Excellent site, keep up the good work

  3. Glen Arthur
    6 years ago

    Our Home was in my Wife’s name and we were on good terms when she passed away. My Step Daughter apparently was given the property by my wife. She refuses to show my the will and says I cannot come on property anymore.
    Do I have rights as Surviving Spouse, to move back in and live there the rest of my life. I’m now 86 yrs. old.