Factors to Consider When Establishing Residency in Florida

When you have purchased a residence in Florida or have relocated to this State, questions often arise whether you have become a Florida resident or are now domiciled in this State. Although primarily a question of individual intent, that intent is often determined by review of various factors pointing to more contact or connection with Florida or another state or foreign country. A list of the most common and important objective factors used in this determination is found below. Other factors may exist based upon the particular facts and circumstances of each person or couple. For example, a husband and wife can be resident and domiciled in separate jurisdictions.

This determination can have substantial effect upon your financial well-being. Florida has no individual income tax nor an estate or inheritance tax.

Becoming a Florida resident typically is the first step in a two-step procedure. You must also plan, especially in the year of relocation, to escape from and no longer be subject to income tax in the jurisdiction where you once resided. Meeting Florida residency rules does not necessarily mean you are no longer subject to income taxation in your prior state of residence. For purposes of taxation the tests or rules for each state do not coincide.

Also note that these rules and taxation (in another jurisdiction) can apply to other entities such as trusts where, for example, you are a trustee. It may be advantageous to change the place of administration of a trust to Florida in order to avoid taxation in another state.

FACTORS SUGGESTING FLORIDA DOMICILE/RESIDENCY

  1. Filing Federal income tax returns using a Florida address.
  2. Filing Florida intangible personal property tax returns which include all intangible personal property owned by the individual.
  3. Filing only those tax returns which are required for nonresidents or part year residents in the former State of domicile.
  4. Executing a new will (or codicil) reciting Florida as the State of domicile.
  5. Executing Florida advance directives such as a living will, designation of healthcare surrogate, and declaration nominating preneed guardian; having a Florida durable power of attorney.
  6. Filing a declaration of domicile with the clerk of circuit court in the county where the individual resides and mailing a copy of the declaration to the tax authority in the former state of domicile; filing for Florida homestead.
  7. Declaring Florida to be the place of the individual's domicile in all documents containing a recital of residence, such as in wills and trust agreements.
  8. Notifying social and religious organizations of the change in domicile and changing membership records to reflect the change.
  9. Obtaining a Florida driver's license and registration of motor vehicles in Florida.
  10. Obtaining a Florida library card.
  11. Listing Florida address on passport.
  12. Opening personal checking and savings accounts in Florida banks and moving the contents of safe deposit boxes to Florida.
  13. Registering to vote in Florida and ceasing to be registered to vote in the former state of domicile; voting in person in Florida as soon as possible.
  14. Owning a Florida residence and filing for Florida homestead exemption claim for such property; similarity terminating such status in the prior state oaf residence/domicile.
  15. Listing the Florida residence as the primary residence on all homeowners insurance.
  16. Moving valuable tangible personal property to Florida residence.
  17. Disposing of the residence in the former state of domicile; at least listing for sale.
  18. If residence in the former state of domicile is not disposed of, offering the residence for rental or closing it up (turning off nonessential services) during periods of nonuse.
  19. Spending little time (in any event not more than 182 days and preferably much less) in the "old" state.
  20. Notifying creditors (such as credit cards) and debtors of the new domicile and directing bills to be sent to the Florida address.
  21. Ceasing employment activity in former state of domicile.
  22. Giving up resident fishing and hunting licenses in former state of domicile.
  23. Placing dependent children in Florida schools.
  24. Licensing pets in Florida.
  25. Becoming active in community in Florida even if only to acquire tickets, etc. to Florida/Sarasota ballet, opera or other Florida cultural events.
  26. Moving professional relationships (medical, dental, legal, financial, accounting, etc.) to Florida.
  27. Changing address with tax preparers and managers, managing members, etc. of investment entities such as limited liability companies and "S" corporations in which you have an interest.
  28. Notify university alumni clubs of your Florida address and deleting the address in the "old" state.

Please contact us if you have questions or desire assistance with your change of residence or domicile to Florida.