Florida Domicile Attorney
Whether you have recently moved to Florida, are considering a move to Florida, or spend part of your time each year in Florida, you are likely planning to establish Florida residency for taxation purposes and other financial benefits. Indeed, unlike many other states, there is no personal income tax in Florida, and there is no separate estate tax in Florida. Florida also has strong asset protection law for residents, making residency desirable for almost anyone who is able to become a Florida resident for financial reasons. Many older adults who spend winters in Florida want to know how they can establish Florida residency in order to be eligible for the economic and financial benefits.
When it comes to establishing yourself as a Floridian for purposes of the tax and other financial benefits in the state, the essential issue will be showing that Florida is your “domicile.” The term “domicile” refers to your legal home, but it is critical to understand that your residency and domicile may not be the same (although they can be). To be sure, there are two different legal terms, and your domicile is what matters for purposes of taxation and asset protection in Florida. Our Florida domicile attorney are here to help.
Your Intent in Establishing Domicile
Many people with homes in Florida, or people who spend their winters in Florida, want to be domiciled in Florida for all of the financial reasons and incentives we mentioned above. When a court determines where a person is domiciled, they consider the totality of the circumstances of the person and what that person’s intent is in establishing domicile. Some of the key factors that go into determining a person’s domicile include but are not limited to:
- Person’s physical residence;
- State where the person has a driver’s license;
- State where the person has registered a car or other automobile;
- State where the person is registered to vote; and
- Address listed on the person’s federal income tax return.
Beyond the factors listed above, you can also take additional steps to help establish domicile in Florida. You can purchase real estate in Florida and claim the Florida homestead exemption, you can open and maintain bank accounts in Florida, and you can join religious and cultural organizations in Florida (such as a church or a country club).
Common Misconceptions About Domicile
There are many common misconceptions when it comes to establishing domicile. We often work with clients who have heard that they cannot establish domicile in Florida because they do not spend more than half the year in Florida. To be clear, you can certainly establish domicile in Florida even if you do not spend half or more of the year in the state. Further, we often work with clients who have heard that they cannot establish domicile in Florida because they own real estate, including a house in which they may have raised their children, in another state. Simply having a house in another state does not mean that you cannot establish Florida domicile.
Contact a Florida Domicile Lawyer
Whether you have concerns about these common misconceptions or others you have heard that are preventing you from working to establish domicile in Florida, a Florida domicile attorney at our law firm can help. Contact David Toback for more information.