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jerryss2

FL Domicile Steps

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I am currently a california resident, but am retiring in the next few weeks.   We plan on getting an RV in January, and want to establish domicile in Florida.

I have the escapees Florida domicile guide, but we have many many questions:  Can anyone outline the steps and timing?

* Should we establish an escapees mailing address now or wait until January?

* should we make a trip to florida now or wait until January?

* How long should we plan to be in Florida to do all this?  ( License, banks, etc...)
* we are selling our car soon will buy a toad in March/april. so, we won't have to transfer and vehicles, yet

* Is the process hard or easy?    any links to other posts are appreciated.

 

Jerry

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I can only respond to your Escapees mailing address. I would get the Livingston one now and begin moving everything over to the new address. You will only use your FL address for auto registration, DL and voting. Not sure about income tax.

You will be surprised how much you will need to move to the new address and how long it takes.

You don't need to get a different bank. Just change your address on your current accounts.

I assume you are are selling your house in CA and terminating all ties. Don't forget about wills etc when in FL.

I also don't see any reason to go to FL when you don't own anything that needs to be registered there at this time.

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Are you keeping property in California?  If so, you may need to consult with an attorney.  There is more to "establishing a FL domicile" than just filling out a form.

I recently went through the process.  In my case, I was already a FL resident (been so for nearly 20 years).  However, once I sold my home, while I was still considered a Floridian (by domicile), the answer is "it depends".  We have a proven "audit trail" that we are still Floridians.  We've kept our doctors; we registered to vote in Clay county.  We maintain our affiliations with churches and schools in the Ft. Myers area.  In short, we're more than just Floridians on paper.

In discussions with a lawyer, we learned that if a state wants to come after you (i.e. California), and you still own property there, continue to use your same doctors, etc., etc., etc.,  - California could make a very valid case that you are still Californians, and come after you for property taxes, income taxes, etc.

Congratulations on retirement.

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25 minutes ago, SWharton said:

I can only respond to your Escapees mailing address. I would get the Livingston one now and begin moving everything over to the new address. You will only use your FL address for auto registration, DL and voting. Not sure about income tax.

You will be surprised how much you will need to move to the new address and how long it takes.

You don't need to get a different bank. Just change your address on your current accounts.

I assume you are are selling your house in CA and terminating all ties. Don't forget about wills etc when in FL.

I also don't see any reason to go to FL when you don't own anything that needs to be registered there at this time.

SWharton.   Yes, we're trying to get things done now, so that we will have plenty of time.

Why would I get a Livingston Tx address, when I want to be a florida resident?   (we chose florida since I'm not yet 65 and not yet eligible for medicare)

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22 minutes ago, Jim1521 said:

Are you keeping property in California?  If so, you may need to consult with an attorney.  There is more to "establishing a FL domicile" than just filling out a form.

I recently went through the process.  In my case, I was already a FL resident (been so for nearly 20 years).  However, once I sold my home, while I was still considered a Floridian (by domicile), the answer is "it depends".  We have a proven "audit trail" that we are still Floridians.  We've kept our doctors; we registered to vote in Clay county.  We maintain our affiliations with churches and schools in the Ft. Myers area.  In short, we're more than just Floridians on paper.

In discussions with a lawyer, we learned that if a state wants to come after you (i.e. California), and you still own property there, continue to use your same doctors, etc., etc., etc.,  - California could make a very valid case that you are still Californians, and come after you for property taxes, income taxes, etc.

Congratulations on retirement.

Jim1521,

Yes, we've sold our California property  (currently living with family and AirBnB's)  We plan on giving my hybrid car to my son, and buying a toad next spring, after we pickup the RV.

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I don't recommend using January 1st as your move date. Moving during any month other than December or January then filing a partial year tax return in California makes the break more visible. California will use any excuse to hang onto you as long as they can; they are know to be very aggressive. So, move as many things as you can now and keep records that you have done so. Joining a church and some type of lodge in Florida will also help. I don't always recommend these steps to everyone but I do for anyone leaving California.

Linda

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1 minute ago, sandsys said:

I don't recommend using January 1st as your move date. Moving during any month other than December or January then filing a partial year tax return in California makes the break more visible. California will use any excuse to hang onto you as long as they can; they are know to be very aggressive. So, move as many things as you can now and keep records that you have done so. Joining a church and some type of lodge in Florida will also help. I don't always recommend these steps to everyone but I do for anyone leaving California.

Linda

Sandsys,

I will get an escapees mail box this week, then begin  moving  credit cards, etc... to my Florida address.

 

Should we make a trip to florida now, or can we wait until January for Drivers License, etc...?

 

thanks in advance

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16 minutes ago, jerryss2 said:

Should we make a trip to florida now, or can we wait until January for Drivers License, etc...?

I would go now if you reasonably can do so. You want your California driver's license cancelled as part of proving you've moved.

I have no experience of Escapees Florida mailing but my understanding is you only have legal mail (taxes, licenses, etc.) sent to the Florida address. Everything else you have sent directly to Livingston unless you want to pay mailing costs for Florida to send it to Livingston then pay mailing costs again for Livingston to send it to wherever you actually are. I suggest you call Escapees headquarters to check on this. They are very helpful people.

I would also move as many things as you can to on-line billing. It's been years since we actually received a paper credit card bill.

Linda

Edited by sandsys
add paperless billing

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x2 what Linda says about the addresses.

Why are you waiting if you sold your house? I agree with Linda that Jan 1 could be waving a red flag. Much easier to do it now and cut the ties. Start enjoying 2nd childhood.

I don't understand what you plan to do if you fly to FL now? Just to get your DL?
 

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If you are no longer employed, I would get started in your change of domicile ASAP. I would get started setting up your Escapee address tomorrow. While you are about it you need to consider changing to doctors in the area of chosen domicile as well as making other permanent ties to that address. I strongly suggest that you read the following article which was written for us by an attorney who specializes in dealing with this type of issues.

  Where Do You Live: Domicile for Full-time RVers

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As a long time Florida resident I know that you need a FL drivers license and Florida Tags for your vehicles. For those you need an address. Or perhaps official mail with your name and that address. Then you can go to any county DMV (you can get an appointment and they are nothing like the CA DMV) and visit the county Tag/Tax agency. It's possible that you might need proof that you paid sales tax on your vehicles. Call up one of the tag agencies and talk to them they are generally very helpful.

Alachau County Tax office info

 

That's the info for the local office, they are all the same.

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Or you can file a sworn Declaration of Domicile with the clerk of the circuit court. No Florida Drivers licence is needed.  You will need to eventually get a DL and tags, but it can be done later.  Chuck

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Very interested in this topic. We are MD residents and are committed in MD until mid Dec. I plan to work until around Dec 15 and then make the slow trek to Florida. We go to settlement on residence today.

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I use SBI in Green Cove Springs, FL for our mail forwarding service.  I contacted Lee County Tax Collectors office (we just sold our home in Ft. Myers, FL).  Per their instructions, I went online with the FL DMV and simply changed my address to the GCS mailing address, but instead of the box number used the license plate of my RV as my residence (since that is where we "lay our heads").  They then transferred me over to Lee County Voter Registration.  I explained to them that we sold our home in Ft. Myers, but that we still consider ourselves as Lee County residents.  The supervisor that I spoke with was very familiar with this situation.  She said that for voting purposes they would continue to use my old Ft. Myers address, but that they would use my Green Cove Springs, FL address as our mailing address.  I explained to her that we're keeping our doctors in Ft. Myers, continue to visit friends and family there, and that our intention is to eventually move back to Ft. Myers when we're done traveling.   She said that she was comfortable that we met the "spirit and the intent" that we were maintaining our residency there, and she re-validated our voter registrations documentation, and we will be sent absentee ballots via the mail.  Having accomplished all of this AFTER we sold our home and went full-timing makes me at peace with the whole domicile question.

Edited by Jim1521

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If you use the Escapees mail service you can vote via absentee ballot.  You may also get called for jury duty but all you have to do is call them and tell them you're traveling - no questions asked.  We used Escapees mail service for approx. 20 yr. with no issues.  High quality service.

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2 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

If you use the Escapees mail service you can vote via absentee ballot.  You may also get called for jury duty but all you have to do is call them and tell them you're traveling - no questions asked.  We used Escapees mail service for approx. 20 yr. with no issues.  High quality service.

While being easily excused from jury duty is true in Livingston, Texas, it may not be as true in Florida. I don't know that but Polk County, Texas, has years of experience dealing with Escapees and is very supportive of them. The Escapees service in Florida is new and, as yet, untested.

Linda

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OK the day we were leaving on an eight week trip I got a jury notice in Florida. The first in 30 years. I filled out the form asking for a delay until after August saying we were traveling and requested an email reply. A week later I got the reply postponing the appearance until mid October. Painless.

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