A person can possess many properties, yet their “domicile” is considered their real home. A domicile is a location where an individual has a fixed, permanent place of residence. Why is having a domicile so important? Your domicile affects your citizenship, voting rights, taxes, and estate planning. When you establish a domicile in Florida, you may take advantage of the state’s lack of state income tax, estate and inheritance taxes, its diverse Medicaid planning choices, and much more. If you are a new resident or looking to relocate to Florida, speak with a domicile planning lawyer in Delray Beach. The Millman Law Group, founded by Aaron Millman, Esq., CPA, is here to guide you through the domicile process and ensure you may experience all of the benefits of a Florida domicile.
What Is The Difference Between Residency and Domicile?
Residency refers to your physical presence in the state, whereas domicile refers to when you establish a permanent home in Florida. Common ways to prove Florida residence include renting or owning real land in the state and spending a significant amount of time there. This is frequently how “snowbirds” get residency.
However, such people are still considered official residents of their home states, which means they pay taxes there, and even if they die in Florida, their estates will be processed according to the laws of their home states. If you establish a domicile in Florida, you will be subject to Florida taxes, and your estate will be dispersed in accordance with Florida law upon your death. Depending on your estate planning goals, you may choose to establish residence before declaring your domicile in Florida.
How to Establish a Domicile in Delray Beach, Florida
Working with a domicile planning lawyer in Delray Beach is the first step toward navigating this process. At The Millman Law Group, we can assist you in ensuring that no crucial steps are overlooked and that all paperwork is filed correctly. Two criteria are necessary to establish a domicile in Florida.
The First Step: The Bright Line Test
This requires you to physically stay in Florida for at least 183 days every year or to spend no more than 183 days in your previous state. Your lawyer can advise you on how to properly show your residence in the state for the appropriate duration.
The Second Step: The Subjective Test
The second step, the Subjective Test, begins next. There are various things you may do to establish your domicile in Florida. You may read a complete checklist on our website, which covers the following:
- Submit a Declaration of Domicile in your county
- Register your vehicles in Florida
- Update insurance policies with your Florida address
- Changing estate planning documents to Florida, naming Florida as your residence
- Register to vote in Florida
- Update deeds to list Florida as your residence
The Advantages of Establishing a Florida Domicile
What are the advantages of hiring a domicile planning lawyer in Delray Beach? Establishing a Florida domicile might have a substantial influence on your estate planning. Florida has no state income tax, inheritance tax, or estate taxes, nor does it tax retirement income or Social Security benefits. There are also certain exemptions for property taxes.
Florida also offers robust asset protection laws that enable you to shield your investments from creditors. Florida is also one of the states that provide Lady Bird deeds, which give greater flexibility than typical life estate deeds.
Establishing Florida as your principal residence and domicile is critical to maximizing your estate planning benefits in The Sunshine State.
Contact The Millman Law Group and Your Domicile Planning Lawyer in Delray Beach
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.