Homestead Purchased With Money Stolen From An Estate

I received an email from a prospective creditor located in Georgia. Allegedly, one of her family members serving wrongfully took money from an decedent’s estate. The same family member moved to Florida and purchased a Florida homestead.

A Georgia judge has ruled that the executor committed fraud. Can the family members who are beneficiaries of the estate get a lien on the executor’s Florida homestead?

If the homestead was purchased with the same money taken from the estate then I believe a Florida court would grant the family an equitable lien on the homestead. Fraud committed by someone in a fiduciary capacity, such as an executor of an estate, should be the type of egregious circumstance which warrants an equitable lien on homestead. The equitable lien does not give the aggrieved family members the power to force the sale of the executor’s homestead, but it does give them a lien on proceeds from the sale or refinance of the homestead.

Some judges in other states in similar cases have issued orders imposing a constructive trust on a Florida homestead purchased with funds fraudulently obtained from an estate or trust. It is not clear whether a Florida court would uphold a foreign trust imposed on Florida property by a judge in another State’s court.

Last updated on May 22, 2020

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