Final Report on the Homesteads Act: 2017 (APR 2017)

The Homesteads Act, 1989 protects spouses who do not own their homes against the sale, mortgaging or other disposition of the homestead by requiring the non-owning spouse to sign a consent and be examined separately from the owning spouse before such action can be taken. This Final Report considers two distinct issues: (1) whether an attorney acting under a power of attorney should be able to consent to a disposition of the homestead, and (2) whether a homestead should include mines and minerals. This Final Report recommends allowing an attorney to consent to a disposition of the homestead in place of a non-owning spouse, subject to the condition that where the attorney is the spouse of the non-owning spouse, the attorney only be able to consent to a disposition of the homestead where the non-owning spouse lacks capacity. This Final Report also recommends that The Homesteads Act, 1989 be amended to specifically exclude mines and minerals from the definition of the homestead.