No, under most circumstances. If you die and your home goes to your heirs-at-law (i.e., family members) then the state of Florida cannot take your homestead property.  It is true that Florida has a claim in the decedent's estate as part of estate recovery laws, but in Florida, your homestead property is exempt from your creditors, even upon death. There are a few caveats here:

  1. Your last will and testament must not direct that your home be sold (not desire that it be sold, but a specific direction to sell); and
  2. Your home must not have been rented during your lifetime, which would cause it to lose its homestead status (although this has exceptions as well).

The homestead property can be sold and the proceeds can be protected, importantly, even if you/your loved one is on Medicaid already.  Another issue is that the home may be sitting there for a long time, which creates more issues. It may be best to protect your homestead property in advance with an irrevocable asset protection trust.

You may also ask:

If you want to learn more about asset protection in Florida, download a free copy of my book, Don't Lose Your Nest Egg to a Florida Nursing Home.  This book will explain ways to protect your assets and pay for your long-term care, among other important aspects.

D. Rep DeLoach III
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Estate Planning and Board Certified Elder Law Attorney