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Massachusetts Agencies

Failed Disability/Old Age

Homestead

In Shamban v. Masidlover, 429 Mass. 50, 705 N.E.2d 1136 (1999) a person, who was legally disabled, filed a disability homestead, specifically mentioning G.L.c. 188, §1A, but she failed to record with the homestead the disability award letter issued by the Social Security Administration or a letter from a licensed physician, as required by the statute. The Supreme Judicial Court said the recording of the disability award letter was essential to the valid creation of a disability homestead, and that since the letter was not recorded the homestead was not created.

But the court went on to say:

[T]he declaration of estate of homestead should be considered valid under §1, even though the debtor expressly filed under §1A. Although the debtor filed her declaration of homestead under §1A, nothing precludes her declaration from being valid under §1. The debtor meets the statutory requirements of §1 because that statute does not require additional documentation for a legitimately acquired homestead. Our conclusion comports with the general presumption of construing the homestead exemption in the debtor's favor. See Dwyer v. Cempellin, supra at 29, 673 N.E.2d 863.