How do Non-Florida Residents Establish Residency in Florida?

If you reside in another state but wish to convert your domicile to the state of Florida, there are many ways you can make a showing that would reflect Florida residency, especially for purposes of homestead exemption or paying in-state tuition at a Florida university.  Many individuals, including investors, choose to make Florida their state of domicile, mainly because Florida has no state income tax, as opposed to states like New York, Georgia or California.

If you reside in another state but wish to convert your domicile to the state of Florida, there are many ways you can make a showing that would reflect Florida residency, especially for purposes of homestead exemption or paying in-state tuition at a Florida university.  Many individuals, including investors, choose to make Florida their state of domicile, mainly because Florida has no state income tax, as opposed to states like New York, Georgia or California.

What is a Domicile under Florida Law?

Your domicile is the place where you live and intend to reside permanently and indefinitely. A bona fide resident of Florida may also spend some time in different states as well. Although a person can technically have multiple residents in various states, he or she may only have one state as their domicile. Your state of domicile is the state that issues your driver’s license or automobile insurance.

To declare domicile in the State of Florida, you must fill out a Declaration of Domicile with the Clerk of Court in the county where you intend to permanently reside. The Declaration is essentially a sworn statement by you, which states that you currently reside in the particular county and intend to maintain your residence there.

Do I Need to Update my Will if I Move to a new State, like Florida?

An important aspect of your estate planning documents is the fact that they should be updated on a continuing and regular basis. You are encouraged to update your will every time a change happens in your life, whether it be a new marriage or acquiring new property. Same goes for moving to a new state, your living will should reflect that. Let’s say you’re a former resident of the state of California but have now established residency in Florida. Your California will remains valid when it crosses over state lines. However, there may be certain provisions of California state laws that do not conform with Florida’s. Updating your estate plan will avoid any kind of potential invalidations in the future.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Florida Resident for College?

For in-state tuition purposes, the State of Florida requires an individual to make a showing that he or she has resided in the state for no less than 12 months. In order to prove residency, you must provide certain legal documents that contain dates that prove issuance of at least 365 days prior to the start of the college’s start term. These identification documents may include a Florida driver’s license, a Florida voter’s registration card, or transcripts from a Florida high school.

If you are under the age of 24, colleges and universities will allow you to make a showing of residency through your parents, as you are considered a dependent. Proof of your parents’ Florida residency can be shown through their federal tax returns.

What are Benefits of Becoming a Florida Resident?

Florida is known for its tropical climate and sandy beaches, but the ultimate benefit is its long list of tax advantages. Florida is known as a no-tax state, our state constitution actually prohibits counties and municipalities from imposing any kind of personal taxes. We also have no estate taxes, which means that upon your passing, your beneficiaries will not incur any state-imposed estate taxes on their inheritance. Lastly, our Florida homestead laws advantage Florida residents by protecting their primary homes against creditors, the Homestead law also provides a kick back on the individual’s property taxes.

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If you would like to learn more information on establishing Florida residency, or would like to update your estate plan accordingly, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys at EPGD Business Law. EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

Categories: Real Estate Law

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