On May 17, the 3rd District Court of Appeals issued an Order, upon its own motion, withdrawing its opinion for Habeeb v. Linder. The Habeeb decision, issued February 9, 2011, held that that a husband’s joint execution of a warranty deed with his wife, transferring the property to the wife alone, constituted a waiver of all the husband’s spousal rights in the property, including spousal homestead rights. This decision is discussed in detail on this blog in “Homestead and Habeeb: Waiver of Spousal Rights by Warranty Deed.”
The effect of this withdrawal is twofold. On one hand, Habeeb cannot be cited or used as precedent in any way. On the other hand, simply withdrawing the opinion does not resolve the issue either way, and creates uncertainty as to the effect of executing such a warranty deed. For now, those wishing to either retain or divest themselves of homestead rights would be well advised to either formally waive homestead rights or expressly state that homestead rights are not waived.