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Researching information on domicile states (FL, TX, SD) and leaning towards South Dakota.  Any feedback either positive or negative would be helpful in our decision.  Thanks.

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I'll give you my standard answer, "It depends." It depends on what you need. If you need health insurance before qualifying for Medicare, South Dakota is not so good. If common law marriage is something you need to avoid, Texas is not so good. You first need to figure out what your needs are then look at each state to see what fits best for you.

Linda Sand

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I opted for South Dakota for the following reasons: 

South Dakota is very friendly towards traveling residents.  I had a great experience with the DMV when I needed a new license due to theft.  The initial visit and setup were also very easy.

There is no annual vehicle inspection and it is easy to renew plates for to have the renewal handled by your mail service.

Costs for vehicle insurance and for supplemental Medicare were very low.

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I picked Texas not because I have a daughter there but SD is not normally in my travel plans. Growing up in the Midwest is OK for the Summer. Texas offers many climates for everyone in the winter. For my Domicile change I worked everyone Livingston as they roll out the welcome map.

Clay

 

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3 hours ago, ms60ocb said:

SD is not normally in my travel plans.

With all due respect there's no relationship between where you like to travel and where you are domiciled.  We renewed our licenses last year and it was the first time we had been in SD since they were issued.

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On 10/29/2017 at 3:28 PM, sandsys said:

If common law marriage is something you need to avoid, Texas is not so good.

I've never heard that before.  Can you explain?

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9 hours ago, docj said:

With all due respect there's no relationship between where you like to travel and where you are domiciled. 

I agree with that statement. In looking forward in my life, where might I re-establish myself? What does it take to be legal Resident to vote?

Domicile relocation is more than a mailing address and drivers license if you are leaving a state you may visit often. I have changed my Will location that needed updating, My Illinois Bank accounts have been moved . My church membership remains at the church a daughter remains a member, my primary support is to other churches. .

On 10/29/2017 at 5:28 PM, sandsys said:

If common law marriage is something you need to avoid, Texas is not so good.

I also don't understand the Common Law Marriage part. I had looked at that segment some years ago as I recall and there maybe more than one way but I memory says it easy by the two parties writing a statement, signing (notarized ??) and filing with County Clerk . There is no automatic way like Iowa and a few other states

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3 hours ago, ms60ocb said:

Domicile relocation is more than a mailing address and drivers license if you are leaving a state you may visit often. I have changed my Will location that needed updating, My Illinois Bank accounts have been moved . My church membership remains at the church a daughter remains a member, my primary support is to other churches. .

This is not a serious issue unless there should be some challenge to your domicile. But if you should ever have to prove your domicile in court, the lawyers will bring up things like any newspapers you might subscribe to, churches and clubs that you have membership in, and pretty much any business that you do in your claimed domicile versus that same sort of things in the state that you came from. It is very rare for that to happen once you have been gone from your previous domicile state, but it can and it has happened. One case that I have seen documented was a disputed will where the old will from back home was significantly different from the new will from the new domicile.

For us, it was pretty easy since we were already Texans and expected to return here.For those who are leaving their domicile for the road and are not sure just where they will eventually land, it is probably more important that you break ties with the previous state than it is where you move your business connections. 

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7 hours ago, ms60ocb said:

I also don't understand the Common Law Marriage part. I had looked at that segment some years ago as I recall and there maybe more than one way but I memory says it easy by the two parties writing a statement, signing (notarized ??) and filing with County Clerk . There is no automatic way like Iowa and a few other states

What is the "automatic" way to have a common law marriage in Iowa (and a few other states)?

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16 hours ago, Blues said:

I've never heard that before.  Can you explain?

Sometimes there are financial or other reasons a couple chooses not to marry. In Texas, if you live together as man and wife Texas will declare you married. Your reasons for not being married become irrelevant to the state and you are left to deal with the consequences. It's been awhile since I checked into this so it may have changed but, if you intend to live together without being married, I would sure check into it before making Texas my domicile.

Linda Sand

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3 minutes ago, sandsys said:

Sometimes there are financial or other reasons a couple chooses not to marry. In Texas, if you live together as man and wife Texas will declare you married. Your reasons for not being married become irrelevant to the state and you are left to deal with the consequences. It's been awhile since I checked into this so it may have changed but, if you intend to live together without being married, I would sure check into it before making Texas my domicile.

It's important to understand what you mean by "live together as man and wife."

Texas does recognize common law marriages, but just because a couple lives together doesn't make them married, no matter how long they cohabit.  It's been like that petty much forever.

The statute provides that "the marriage of a man and woman may be proved by evidence that...the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to others that they were married."

Texas doesn't just make declarations on its own--an issue has to arise, and these cases are almost always the result of a couple separating and fighting about who gets what property, or if one of them dies and people are fighting over who gets the deceased's estate.  In both of those cases, whether the couple was married can affect the division of property.  The parties on both sides go to court and present evidence, and a judge or jury makes a finding based on the evidence.

If you live together and hold yourselves out as being married, then that's evidence that can support a finding of common law marriage.  Examples of holding yourselves out as being married would include things like checking "married" instead of "single" on forms, listing your partner as your "spouse" on a beneficiary designation, introducing your partner as your husband or wife socially, filing income taxes jointly. 

And even then, the party claiming there was no marriage could present evidence supporting that claim of no marriage. 

If you want to live together without being married in Texas, it's not hard if you really don't want to be married and act accordingly.  If you are a single person, then don't agree to be married, and don't check "married" on forms or introduce your partner as your spouse.  The problem occurs when people try to play it both ways--being married for some purposes but not for others.

 

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And some states like CA have abolished common law marriage altogether no matter how long you live together. This is due to CA being a common law state. You have to say I Do before you are considered married and given away half of what you own. 

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On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 2:15 PM, EverywhereMan said:

Researching information on domicile states (FL, TX, SD) and leaning towards South Dakota.  Any feedback either positive or negative would be helpful in our decision.  Thanks.

Fixed income living, check to check, has us leaning to SD as well. The only number I haven't uncovered is the cost to register vehicle(s). It's a close race mind you, but even a $300 annual difference between states is enough to sway the choice.

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On 11/1/2017 at 12:44 PM, Kirk Wood said:

This is not a serious issue unless there should be some challenge to your domicile. But if you should ever have to prove your domicile in court.....

Could you suggest a reason that it would come up? I can't think of a reason why it would be challenged. Apparently it happens or you wouldn't have brought it up, but I guess when you have no actual life like me it isn't apparent why anybody would care where I pretend to live. My experience with court has been for divorces, so yeah,  I guess you COULD say I have a lot of courtroom experience.....

In my case though, I can't see why it would matter. The VA doesn't care where I am, as nothing with them is state specific. The same goes for SS. I opted out of Medicare because I have the VA. If I DO move my domicile I will have to do the normal stuff, DL, license plates, CCW permit.... but once those are done I would be done with it for years. That being said, I DO plan to keep my feet in Ohio. My license is good for 4 years at a time, renewing in 2018, and my CCW renews in 2019. Chances are I won't outlive those next renewals. But that's just my specific timeline.

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11 hours ago, eddie1261 said:

Could you suggest a reason that it would come up? I can't think of a reason why it would be challenged. Apparently it happens or you wouldn't have brought it up, but I guess when you have no actual life like me it isn't apparent why anybody would care where I pretend to live. My experience with court has been for divorces, so yeah,  I guess you COULD say I have a lot of courtroom experience.....

I believe there are one or two posts on the forum about a state going after a person for taxes and such.  I don't recall anything about a person going after another person for domicile-related stuff.

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12 hours ago, eddie1261 said:

Could you suggest a reason that it would come up?

Several years ago I spent a lot of time searching for actual cases that have taken place. I didn't find a lot of them but those I found were important issues.

On 11/1/2017 at 11:44 AM, Kirk Wood said:

One case that I have seen documented was a disputed will where the old will from back home was significantly different from the new will from the new domicile.

The case I mentioned earlier is a good example. In this case (working from memory so few details) It involved a single male who shifted domicile to TX from "I don't remember where" as a single fulltimer. At some point, he met and married a single RV woman and had a new will drawn in TX naming his wife as his main beneficiary. When he passed away his kids challenged the TX will, based upon domicile, in their home-state where most of his estate was located. The kids prevailed.

The tax issue is no doubt the most common but once you make that break for a year it rarely comes up again and has become much less common, or at least reports of that problem have become less comon. 

Another successful case that I found was one of a major insurance claim that was challenged because the new domicile had much lower premiums than the previous and it was another of those cases where all that had been moved was license, registration, and insurance, with most business connections and other ties remaining in the state of origin. There was also an unsuccessful insurance challenge but that is all that I remember of that one. There were several others that I found but my research was done more than 10 years ago and so I just don't recall much now and I didn't save it when I changed computers. I have neither found nor heard of any cases where one individual sued another of domicile. 

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9 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

The case I mentioned earlier is a good example. In this case (working from memory so few details) It involved a single male who shifted domicile to TX from "I don't remember where" as a single fulltimer. At some point, he met and married a single RV woman and had a new will drawn in TX naming his wife as his main beneficiary. When he passed away his kids challenged the TX will, based upon domicile, in their home-state where most of his estate was located. The kids prevailed.

I'd love to have a peek at that will. 

When I had a new will drawn up, it prominently contained 2 statements. One was that this will supersedes any other will that may be presented upon my death. The second was that my 2 children were consciously and intentionally excluded. That pretty much eliminated any basis to challenge my will. I really wonder if that person's new will included those exclusion clauses. Succession panning in general can be complex depending on amount of assets. I plan to die with 50 bucks in the bank and the RV I am driving. If any  greedy people want to fight over an old RV and 50 bucks, they are welcome to it. I refuse to be a source of financial windfall to anybody when I die.

Some of the things you know about that I don't, I have never had reason to look into. My income is SS and VA Disability, neither of which are taxable, so I have no tax concerns. Neither of them will ever change based on location. I have no stocks, no retirement funds... none of that, so in my case domicile is pretty much irrelevant. Licence plates, drivers license and CCW permit are the only things tied to a state, and hopefully concealed carry will become Constitutional soon. 

So while the domicile question is relevant to many, after reading this thread I see that it doesn't really apply directly to me much.

 

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7 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

The case I mentioned earlier is a good example. In this case (working from memory so few details) It involved a single male who shifted domicile to TX from "I don't remember where" as a single fulltimer. At some point, he met and married a single RV woman and had a new will drawn in TX naming his wife as his main beneficiary. When he passed away his kids challenged the TX will, based upon domicile, in their home-state where most of his estate was located. The kids prevailed.

It sounds like challenging the domicile was used as a way to challenge the will.  As I said above, problems generally occur when a person tries to have it both ways.  You mentioned that most of the decedent's estate was located in a state other than Texas (apparently the state where the decedent lived before "moving" to Texas).  It makes me wonder if he still had real property there, which could be used to argue that he intended to return to that state, which is one of the elements of determining domicile.  

Regardless, I'd be shocked if this wasn't a very complicated, nuanced case--most probate litigation is, in large part due to having to determine the intent of a person who's now dead.

 

On 11/1/2017 at 10:06 PM, Twotoes said:

And some states like CA have abolished common law marriage altogether no matter how long you live together. This is due to CA being a common law state. 

If you're using "common law state" in the context of property rights, that's not correct.  California is a community property state.

Texas is also a community property state, and it does allow common law marriages. 

 

Quote

You have to say I Do before you are considered married and given away half of what you own. 

When a person becomes married, he doesn't give away half of what he owns.  Everything he owned before marriage is his separate property, and can stay that way throughout the marriage if he doesn't do things with it that are inconsistent with its character as separate property.  (A familiar theme--problems occur when people try to have it both ways.)

With a very few exceptions, everything he acquires after marriage is community property.  And he's not giving it away:  he and his wife are considered to have earned it together, and it's the same with the wife's income--they are considered to have earned it together.

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Pre. Nup.

I won't get married again but if I did I would demand a pre-nup. Even though I have almost nothing, my will is written how it is written for a reason. The small life insurance policy I have goes to an animal shelter, as does any profit from an estate sale. That is how it would go. 

Real catch I am, eh?

Once I land somewhere, likely New Mexico, POSSIBLY Texas, I will look at a few things, like does it cost a kidney to register my vehicles. When I was going to move to Florida in 2004, they wanted $400 just to register my car under some "new wheels" nonsense. My plates in Ohio are like $58. And then there is the matter of my CCW permit. I really don't want to sit through a class again, and mine here in Ohio is good for 5 years at a time. I'd have to come back every 5th year to renew it, and as old as I am that will only likely be once more. As a responsible owner who carries 24.7, I want to stay legal. I have not researched any of this yet because my adventure of full time RV life has not yet started. I have always loved New Mexico though, so much so that I may have to pull out my Rosetta Stone software and start on the Spanish classes.

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On 11/2/2017 at 10:41 AM, rm.w/aview said:

Fixed income living, check to check, has us leaning to SD as well. The only number I haven't uncovered is the cost to register vehicle(s). It's a close race mind you, but even a $300 annual difference between states is enough to sway the choice.

My only thought there would be that you have to drive to South Dakota at whatever interval they have on their drivers licenses up there. Here in Ohio that is 4 years. If I am living in New Mexico I do not want to be forced to drive to South Dakota just to renew my license. That being said, I have also never been to Mount Rushmore, so......

Living in New Mexico makes it seem like, in light of what I read about the requirements for domicile in NM,  Texas is the best choice. That way when I have to renew I can just jump across the border to El Paso and do it there. Just doesn't seem sensible to create pressure where I have 5 days to renew and I am 2000 miles away.

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Easy is certainly a wise choice, I'll choose that every time. But know that the license can be renewed up to 6 months in advance of expiring. I've looked at this aspect to avoid the cold & snow. I've been to various areas of SD and look forward to each visit.

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