By Ronald Lanza, Esq.
What if you want out of New York but you still want to keep one foot in New York?
Even in the pandemic, people that have one home in New York and another one in Florida want to be in the warmer weather and their goal is often to meet their Florida residency requirements. Why is this so important? There are tax benefits that come with being a Florida resident such as the lack of estate tax and income tax.
What are the positive steps you can take to reflect your Florida residency?
- If you do own property, you should apply for the Florida homestead exemption in your county. There are tax benefits associated with the homestead exemption and it is useful as evident of Florida residency (NOTE: If you obtain Florida homestead status, you will no longer be eligible for New York STAR exemption.)
- File a “Declaration of Domicile” in the Florida county in which you live.
- Execute new estate planning documents in accordance with Florida law such as a Last Will & Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, etc. We suggest you consult with an attorney licensed in both New York and Florida.
- Obtain a Florida driver’s license, Florida car insurance and register your car in Florida.
- Register to vote in Florida. Remember to cancel your voter registration in New York.
- Update your Florida address with all your financial institutions, credit card holders, life insurance companies, retail accounts, wholesale clubs etc. to strengthen your roots there.
- And finally…stay out of New York for at least 183 days each year. The bigger the ratio of days spent in Florida, the better.