While a person can own many residences, their “domicile” is considered their true home. A domicile is a place where a person has a fixed, permanent residence. Why is establishing a domicile important? Your domicile impacts your citizenship, voting rights, taxes, and estate planning. When you establish a domicile in Florida, you can take advantage of the state’s lack of state income tax, estate taxes, inheritance taxes, options for Medicaid planning, and much more. If you are a new resident or are about to move to Florida, contact a domicile planning lawyer in Boca Raton. The Millman Law Group, founded by Aaron Millman, Esq., CPA, is here to help you navigate the domicile planning process and guarantee you can enjoy all the benefits of a Florida domicile.
The Differences Between Residency and Domicile
Residency refers to your actual presence in the state, whereas domicile is proclaimed when you establish a permanent residence in Florida. Renting or owning real estate in Florida or spending a lengthy amount of time in the state are common ways to establish Florida residency. This is commonly how “snowbirds” obtain residence.
However, such persons are still regarded as official residents of their home states, which means they pay taxes there, and even if they die in Florida, their estates will be administered per the rules of their home states. If you create a domicile in Florida, you will pay taxes in this state, and your estate will be distributed after your death following Florida law. Depending on your estate planning objectives, you may establish residence before declaring your domicile in Florida.
The Steps for Establishing a Domicile in Boca Raton, Florida
Working with a domicile planning lawyer in Boca Raton is the first step to help you navigate this process. At The Millman Law Group, we can help you ensure that no critical steps are missed and that all forms are submitted correctly. There are two tests required to establish a domicile in Florida.
Step One: The Bright Line Test
This requires you to physically stay in Florida for at least 183 days of the year, or at the very least, not spend 183 days in your prior state. Your lawyer can help you determine how you may effectively prove your residence in the state for the required time.
Step Two: The Subjective Test
Next, it’s time to move on to the second phase, the Subjective Test. There are several things you may do to cement your domicile in Florida. You may view a comprehensive checklist on our website, which includes the following:
- Register any vehicles to Florida
- Update deeds to list Florida as your residence
- Register to vote in Florida
- Submit a Declaration of Domicile for your county
- Change estate planning documents to Florida, and name Florida as your residence in these documents
- Update insurance policies to use your Florida address
Why Should You Establish a Florida Domicile?
What is the benefit of using a domicile planning lawyer in Boca Raton? Establishing a Florida domicile can have a significant impact on your estate plan. Florida has no state income taxes, no inheritance taxes, no state estate taxes, and no taxes on retirement income or Social Security benefits. There are also some exemptions available on property taxes.
Florida also has generous asset protection laws that allow you to protect investments from creditors. Florida is also one of the states that offer Lady Bird deeds, which provide desirable flexibility over traditional life estate deeds.
Establishing Florida as your primary residence and domicile is essential to ensure that you benefit from the estate planning benefits in The Sunshine State.
Contact The Millman Law Group and Your Domicile Planning Lawyer in Boca Raton
Millman Law Group, PLLC is one of the only law firms that offers life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team specializes in special needs trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know that it’s never too early to start preparing for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.