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** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on July 29,2020.

Ask one of our snowbird estate planning attorneys, and they’ll tell you there’s no better place to call home than Florida. New York snowbirds often travel back and forth for the sunshine, but when should you officially change your state of domicile? If you spend less than 183 a year in New York, it might be time. Your New York estate planning lawyer is happy to explain multiple benefits. Florida has no state income, fiduciary, estate, or inheritance tax and offers homestead creditor protection to retirees. Start your Florida estate planning today!

Checklist for Changing Your Domicile from New York to Florida

  1. File a Florida Declaration of Domicile in the local County Clerk’s Office.
  2. Pay Florida tangible property taxes.
  3. File for a Florida homestead exemption, if available.
  4. File a nonresident New York income tax return, if required.
  5. File the federal income tax with IRS Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
  6. Transfer safe deposit box contents and bank accounts to Florida.
  7. Have your Social Security check directly deposited into a Florida bank or mailed to your Florida address.
  8. Change credit cards to your Florida address.
  9. Execute a new Florida Will (claiming Florida as your domicile and taxing jurisdiction).
  10. Refer to your Florida residence in all deeds, contracts, and other legal documents.
  11. Where feasible, have family gatherings and social activities centered in Florida rather than New York.
  12. Change the address on your passport to a Florida address.
  13. If you intend to invest in real estate or businesses, you should focus on property located in Florida rather than New York.
  14. Transfer works of art, expensive furniture, heirlooms, and sentimental items to Florida.
  15. Consider acquiring cemetery plots in Florida.
  16. Register your automobile in Florida.
  17. Obtain a Florida resident driver’s license.
  18. Register to vote in Florida.
  19. Sell your New York home and purchase a residence in Florida or enter into a long-term lease.
  20. Notify the post office, banks, brokers, attorneys, accountants, creditors, and insurance companies of your new Florida address.
  21. Use the Florida address when registering in hotels, etc.
  22. Join Florida clubs, societies, fraternal organizations, temples, or churches:
  • Become a patron of local activities (symphony, theatre, etc.)
  • Participate in charitable activities, fundraising for community affairs, etc.
  • Resign from all New York social clubs or change your membership status to nonresident.
  1. Cultivate several relationships in Florida, so you actually feel that you are part of the community and it’s your home.
  2. Get a Florida doctor and dentist and have all New York medical records forwarded to them.
  3. Do not spend more than 182 days in New York State after you have changed your domicile to Florida.

Updating Your New York Estate Plan

When you started your New York estate planning, your goals were tied to the laws of New York state. Moving to Florida means having our New York estate planning lawyers review your old plan to begin Florida estate planning. The knowledgeable and compassionate team at Russo Law Group, P.C., provides professional services and advice for all your snowbird estate planning needs. Take advantage of our comprehensive website as well as our free seminars and webinars to learn more about how Russo Law Group, P.C. provides peace of mind. Please contact our law firm to speak with one of our experienced elder law and estate planning attorneys today at 1 (800) 680-1717.

NOTE: This memorandum is informational only and not legal advice. If you have questions or are seeking legal advice, we recommend that you contact our firm.

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