Ensuring Your Move Meets Legal Criteria

If you are planning a move, or you currently have property and spend time in both states but are unsure which state is your legal residency, you need an experienced lawyer, well-versed in the laws of both jurisdictions, to make certain you take the right steps to legally change your domicile.

Florida residency, for tax purposes, requires an honest and bona-fide intent to establish a new domicile and give up the other state as your legal domicile. Generally, a domicile is characterized as the place where you intend to make your permanent home and the place where you intend to return to after you have been absent. However, your desire to change your domicile can be for any number of reasons and still qualify as legal intent to create a new domicile. Reasons such as health, business, pleasure, better climate, better laws, or for any other reason whatsoever are sufficient reasons to desire to establish a new domicile. Regardless of why you are choosing to change your domicile, the burden of proof will be upon you or your estate if your new domicile status is challenged.

Changing your residency status requires that you take specific steps to terminate your residency in other states. We will help you secure all the tax benefits of Florida residency by preparing and filing all necessary documents, including:

  • Revise your estate plan to comply with Florida laws and to identify your residence in all estate planning documents as Florida.
  • A Florida Declaration of Domicile, stating that you maintain a residence in Florida and intend that it be your permanent, predominant, and principal home.
  • File a homestead exemption, which protects your home from any creditor other than a mortgagee.
  • Carefully analyze and review your affairs to establish Florida residency and minimize connection to your old high tax state.