What Is a ‘Declaration of Domicile’ and How Does It Work?

A Florida declaration of domicile will enable you to qualify for important tax benefits.


As experienced estate planning attorneys with offices in Palm City and Stuart, FL, we are often called upon to address declaration of domicile legal issues. In this article, we will discuss “What is a Domicile” and “When is an Affidavit of Domicile Required,” shedding light on the significance of a Declaration of Domicile and its implications for Florida residents, especially those seeking to benefit from the state’s tax policies.

What is a Declaration of Domicile?

Did you know that owning a home in Florida does not necessarily mean you are a resident of the state, at least not for tax and estate planning purposes? It is an important distinction for those wanting to benefit from Florida’s tax policies, and for those newly moving to the Sunshine State.

Unlike most states, Florida has no state income tax, estate tax or inheritance tax. Officials in other states, however, have grown more aggressive in recent years about going after people they consider their tax-paying residents. Filing a Declaration of Domicile in Florida can help.

A Domicile, in simple terms, refers to the place you consider your permanent and principal home. You can only have one domicile, and it is generally defined as the place where you live the majority of the year.

When is a Declaration of Domicile Required?

Now, you may wonder, “When is an Affidavit of Domicile Required?” An Affidavit of Domicile is a legal document that shows your intention to make Florida your permanent and principal home. It is an essential step for those who wish to establish their domicile in Florida, especially for tax and estate planning purposes.

According to Florida Statutes §222.17, the Affidavit of Domicile must be filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the area where you intend to reside. You will need to sign it under penalty of perjury in front of a deputy clerk or notary public.

Affidavit of Domicile Meaning

The “Affidavit of Domicile Meaning” is significant because it signifies your commitment to making Florida your primary home. This document is not required to move to Florida, but it is a crucial step in establishing your domicile here. Once submitted, the Affidavit of Domicile will be recorded in the public records of the county where you live.

While the Affidavit of Domicile is essential, it is not the sole factor in determining domicile. There are other affirmative steps you can take to strengthen your defense against tax officials or judgment creditors from a former state. These steps include obtaining a Florida driver’s license, registering an automobile in Florida, registering to vote, opening bank accounts, and securing a new mailing address in Florida.

There is no set waiting period to become a Florida domiciliary, but the longer you live in Florida, the stronger your claim becomes. Buying real property, filing federal income tax returns using your Florida address, and updating your estate documents are also ways to solidify your status as a Florida domiciliary.

We understand that this is a complicated topic, and we encourage you to contact our office for help navigating a Declaration of Domicile and related issues. Whether you are a long-time Florida resident or a newcomer to the state, understanding the nuances of domicile is essential for effective estate planning and tax management. We encourage you to contact our office for help navigating a Declaration of Domicile and related issues.

Law Offices of John Mangan, PA
Palm City-Stuart, FL

CALL: 1 (772) 218-0480

Do you question the need for attorney guidance with so many online resources? Because laws and regulations are complex, and because every person has a lot at risk, more people than ever are seeking professional guidance from an experienced, knowledgeable source. That helps explain the rapid growth of our firm. Whether you happened upon this website by accident or are one of the many referrals we receive from a nearly 15-year collection of satisfied clients, our staff can provide customized estate planning guidance for you. Call us. Our number: 1 (772) 218-0480

Written by: John Mangan, JD, MBA

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