I purchased my home in Florida, Palm Beach county, in 2005 and I received my homestead exemption. Last week I was checking something on the Palm Beach Property Appraiser website and to my surprise I noticed that in 2012 my homestead exemption vanished. Also, the property owner was no longer my "Last name First Name" but "Last name First Name EST". I was surprised because once you apply for homestead exemption you don't lose it unless you do something that makes you ineligible for it and I knew that wasn't the case. So, I went to the office to see what happened.

Here's what happened. My dad lived with me and had the same last and first name as mine. I have a middle name but my dad didn't. In 2011 he passed away. Someone looked at the death certificate in Palm Beach County and looked at the name and address but not the social security numbers and from the property tax standpoint I was declared dead and lost my homestead exemption. I think that also accounts for the EST (estate) in the property owner's name.

Since it wasn't me that made the mistake is there any chance I can get all the extra money I paid in property taxes back? Or will the Appraiser Office tell me that since I have a chance to appeal my property taxes every year I am no longer entitled to get any money back? We are talking about 8-10K.

  • 2
    You probably don't have a chance to get the money back. You could talk to a lawyer, but I am sure the rules are written in such a way that they are not in your favor. I am going to vote to migrate this to law.stackexchange.
    – Pete B.
    Feb 25, 2019 at 15:17
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this question is better suited to law.stackexchange.
    – Pete B.
    Feb 25, 2019 at 15:17
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    This question is basically, "Can I get reimbursed for some of 7 years worth of accidental property tax over-payment, and if so, what are the steps I should take to do so?" Worded that way it could be money.SE, but the answer likely depends on the local jurisdiction, so law might be best.
    – TTT
    Feb 25, 2019 at 16:08
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    Did you write this question before you found out that you were dead? In that case, is it still worth keeping?
    – user71981
    Feb 25, 2019 at 16:20
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    Please note that "better suited to another SE site" isn't a valid close reason in itself - if it's on-topic here regardless of the existence of any other site, and the poster wants it to stay, it should be left. There's a bit of discussion of migration in this meta question and in the post linked in the comments there. Feb 25, 2019 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


In FL, you get a letter every year from the property tax man, which lists your applied exemptions and taxes, and it also lists a deadline for any changes.
From what you wrote, it looks like you ignored the content for several years, and were charged accordingly higher property taxes.

IANAL, but I would assume that by ignoring it, you lost this money irrevocably, and can only add the homestead exemption back in going forward.

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