Texas has one of the most expansive homestead laws in the country.    Homestead designation protects the homeowner from creditors claims, other than certain taxes and loans secured with the homestead. This blog post will cover the types of Texas homesteads, and who benefits from homestead designation.

Types of Homesteads

There are two types of homesteads, urban and rural.  You have one or the other, not both.  An urban homestead is limited to ten acres and is located in a municipality served by police and fire protection with at least three municipal services provided, such as water, electricity and gas.   A rural homestead is any homestead that doesn’t meet the criteria for an urban homestead.  A family can have a rural homestead of up to 200 acres, a single person 100 acres.

Tex. Prop. Code Ann.  41.002

Who May Claim Homestead Protection

Family

A family may claim homestead protection.  A family is a head of household, and those bound by blood or marriage that are depend on the head of household for support.  This covers a spouse and minor children, but may include adult children in certain cases, such as an adult child living with a parent while attending college.

Single Adult

A single adult can claim homestead protection for an urban or rural homestead, but, in the case of a rural homestead, the homestead is limited to 100 acres instead of 200 acres.

Surviving Spouse

The deceased spouse’s homestead rights pass to the surviving spouse so long as the surviving spouse continues to occupy the homestead.

Surviving Minor Children

The surviving minor children of deceased parents, have the right to claim their deceased parents’ homestead for the duration of their minority.  This right pertains even if the minor children were not living in the home at the death of the parents.

The special occupancy rights of the surviving spouse or surviving minor children persist unless abandoned.  The burden of proving abandonment is on the party seeking to terminate the homestead rights.

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