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By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq., Miami Trust Attorney

A.  Domicile  vs. Residence

“Domicile” and Residence are two different legal terms, but often confused.  A person can have only one domicile, but any number of residences in different states. Domicile is your actual residence in the state joined with your intention to make that state your permanent home.  In order to establish a new domicile, you must first abandon your old “domicile”, but not necessarily your old “residence.”   The Florida test is both  a subjective and objective test.   The following checklist is a list of important objective criteria.

B.   Do Not Sit On The Fence

It is important to clearly establish domicile by following the following criteria listed here and abandoning the same in your original state of domicile when feasible.  For example, once you secure a Florida driver’s license you should relinquish the license in your original state.   You should abandon the mailing address of your original state and have all correspondence – especially tax correspondence – come from your Florida mailing address.

Note #1:   It is not necessary to do all of the steps listed in this checklist.  However, the more items completed the stronger is your argument that you have established Florida domicile.

Note #2:  The following is not a complete list, as there is no “complete list”.

Action Item Date Done
File Declaration of Domicile (not required)
Use Florida residence as your primary (if possible exclusive) mailing address
File for Florida homestead property tax exemption
Register to vote in Florida and in fact vote
Execute a new Florida Will; recite Florida residence in Will
Update other estate planning documents (such as living trust, durable power of attorney, health care surrogate)  to conform with Florida law
File Federal Income tax with IRS using Florida address
Change address on passport to Florida residence
Obtain Florida vehicle license plates (relinquish plates from original state)
Open Florida bank account
Notify Social Security Administration of new Florida address if receiving  such benefits
Register Florida address with Medicare and other insurance providers
Change credit card(s) address to Florida mailing address
Obtain safe deposit box in Florida and transfer valuables to box
Affiliate with Florida church, temple or mosque
Direct that all income, pension, dividend and interest checks be sent toFlorida address or deposited in your Florida bank account
Notify social clubs of Florida address
Establish professional relationships with Florida CPA, attorney, investment advisor, and other professionals

For more information, contact Phil Rarick, Miami trust attorney, with Rarick & Beskin at (305) 556-5209 or info@raricklaw.com.

Special Note

The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced Miami trust attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

Nota Especial

La información en este blog es de carácter general y no esta supuesto contestar preguntas jurídicas para un individual. No confía en la información presentada en este documento para sus problemas individuales legales. Si usted tiene una pregunta legal sobre los hechos y circunstancias individuales, debe consultar a un abogado experto en fideicomiso. La recepción de la información de este sitio web o en este blog no crea una relación de abogado con el cliente y los privilegios inherentes en ellos.

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