Hey everyone, I’m Bette Hochberger, CPA, CGMA. Today I will be giving you a step-by-step guide on changing your domicile to Florida.
Florida, with its warm climate, beautiful coastlines, and tax advantages, has become a hotspot for many looking to change their domicile. As a CPA based in South Florida, I’ve had the privilege of guiding numerous clients through this transition. If you’re considering making the Sunshine State your new home, here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth move.
Understand the Benefits
Before diving into the process, it’s important to grasp the advantages of declaring Florida as your primary domicile. Not only does Florida offer no state income tax, but its estate tax benefits and asset protection laws are also particularly attractive.
Officially Declare Your Intent
To begin, sign a “Declaration of Domicile.” This is a legal document that signifies your intent to make Florida your permanent residence. This form can be found at, and filed with, your local county’s clerk’s office.
Update Personal Documents
Change your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and voter’s registration to reflect your new Florida address. These are tangible proofs of your shift in domicile. Check out our free “Moving to Florida” checklist to learn more.
Re-Evaluate Your Estate Planning
Florida has unique estate planning provisions. Consult with an attorney familiar with Florida laws to update your will, trusts, and other relevant documents.
Establish Florida as Your Financial Base
Open local bank accounts, and if applicable, move your brokerage accounts to Florida-based firms. Also, update your billing addresses for credit cards, utilities, and subscriptions.
Spend Majority of the Year in Florida
To firmly establish a domicile, aim to spend more than half the year (at least 183 days) in Florida. It’s a good idea to keep records like receipts or logs as evidence.
Reduce Ties to Your Former State
If possible, sell your residence or change its status to a vacation home in your previous state. Additionally, ensure you aren’t claiming tax benefits or exemptions tied to residency in another state.
Document everything—from the days you spend in Florida to major activities or events you partake in. This can be useful if your former state challenges your change of domicile.
Consult a Local CPA
Each state has its nuances when it comes to tax laws. Engaging with a CPA familiar with Florida’s regulations, like our “Moving Domicile to Florida” services, can ensure you benefit from all the tax advantages while remaining compliant.
Changing your domicile to Florida is more than just a relocation; it’s a strategic financial and lifestyle decision. Taking the right steps can ensure a seamless transition and maximize the benefits of your move.
Considering taking the plunge into Florida’s sunny embrace? Reach out for personalized guidance and let’s make your transition to the Sunshine State both rewarding and hassle-free.