How to Officially Become a Florida Resident

Norton Hammersley Estate Planning, Real Estate Law

With no state income or inheritance/estate tax, Florida is becoming a preferred destination for more than 330,000 individuals annually.
If you are thinking about or have just made the move follow these steps to confirm and establish your legal domicile in Florida.

We are often asked how to become a Florida resident, or how to maintain that residency. This decision can be an emotional decision, but it needs to be analyzed as completely as possible prior to making such an important decision. Prior to making a decision of this importance, we advise clients to seek professional guidance from their attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, and other trusted advisors. Florida does not impose any individual income tax or estate tax, but there are a broad range of implications to consider.

Following are some topics, arranged in no particular order, that one might consider in analyzing whether Florida residency is right for you. There are additional issues, and the analysis for each client can be different. However, these provide a good starting point for a discussion with your advisors.

  1. File a Declaration of Domicile.
  2. Register to vote and then vote in Florida.
  3. Obtain a Florida library card.
  4. Notify tax and voting officials of your previous residence that you have become a resident of Florida.
  5. Apply for Homestead Exemption. Implications? – 3% Cap, creditors, tax exemption.
  6. Titling Homestead property.
  7. Register your pets with a Florida veterinarian.
  8. Register your vehicle in Florida and obtain a Florida driver’s license.
  9. Obtain a Florida resident fishing license and terminate ones from other states.
  10. List Florida as residence in all deeds and other documents.
  11. Use your Florida address in filing your Federal income tax return with the IRS. If possible, file final tax returns for state of previous residence.
  12. Use Florida residence/address whenever possible, including hotel and airline reservations.
  13. The physical presence in Florida of securities is not essential nor is the Florida address for receipt of dividends where there is a valid reason for convenience to the contrary.
  14. Notify the Social Security Administration of your change of address.
  15. Establish and transfer financial accounts to Florida.
  16. Establish Florida health and wealth based professional relationships – doctors, attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors.
  17. Use Florida address for your passport.
  18. Use Florida address for your charge accounts.
  19. Notify social clubs of your Florida address for their membership rolls.
  20. Join Florida religious and social organizations.
  21. Obtain a safe deposit box in Florida (close others).
  22. Update your Will and/or Trust Agreement(s) to conform with Florida law and declare Florida as your residence.
  23. Execute a Florida health care surrogate, living will, declaration of preneed guardian, and durable power of attorney.
  24. Transfer your health insurance to Florida.
  25. Direct that all income checks, pension, dividends, interest, etc. should be sent to your Florida address or Florida account.
  26. Move your business to Florida.
  27. How much time to spend in Florida? How about in your prior state?
  28. Non-Florida “tax scouts.”
  29. Choice of fiduciaries.

For assistance when moving to Florida contact our office. Established in 1988, the Sarasota law firm of Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, P.A. offers the highest-quality personal service for individuals and businesses.
With a wide range of practice groups and talented, ethical and dynamic attorneys, Norton, Hammersley offers the best of both worlds by utilizing extensive legal resources and knowledge in servicing each of its individual and business clients.

With over 25 years of Sarasota Law Practice experience, Norton Hammersley, a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated law firm, is comprised of 10 attorneys and four main practice groups: real estate, business and tax law, trial practice and dispute resolution, and estate planning/administration and asset preservation.