Homestead Information

What is the Homestead Act?

An estate of homestead is a type of protection for a person’s principal residence. There is an automatic homestead protection of one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000) with respect to a home that does not declare a homestead exemption with the Registry of Deeds. This automatic protection may be sufficient to protect a deposit made upon the estate; however, it is not likely to be sufficient coverage to protect the full value of your home. In order for homeowners in Massachusetts to protect the value of their property up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) per residence, per family, you must file a document called a “Declaration of Homestead”. The form is filed at the Registry of Deeds in the county or district where the property is located, referencing the title/deed to the property (Secretary Galvin).

For more detailed information about the Homestead and forms to file, see the links below:

PDF Printable Forms

The Declaration of Homestead may be filed in person or by mail. To file by mail:

  • Check List – Fill out the Homestead Declaration Form completely, sign it and have it notarized.
  • Mail the original form together with a check for $35.00 payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope to:

Northern Essex Registry of Deeds
1 Union Street
Suite #402
Lawrence, MA 01840