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Domicile question....no word from attorney yet

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Hi everyone,

I've emailed and left 3 messages for Shawn, the Escapees attorney. I haven't heard from him yet and I'm running out of time.


We live in Idaho. We both have our Drivers licenses in Idaho. The 5th wheel is registered in Idaho. Our new truck is not registered anywhere yet as we are picking that up Friday. I am using a mail forwarding service in South Dakota. Our insurance man said as long as everything is registered in Idaho we're okay. I was thinking of registering our new truck in SD because I thought since our mail forwarding is there, that's where we have to 'domicile'. The insurance man said then I'd have to transfer to insurance in SD and have to do a new policy. (Which I don't see the big deal with that).


My concern is, should I just register the new truck in Idaho and keep everything in ID with mail forwarding in SD? Can I do that? Insurance man says yes but ??? I'm just not sure how this all works.


I'd prefer to not have to go to SD now as I'd like to go to Oregon first.


We are picking up the new truck Friday so I was hoping to get some advice from you before I get it so I know the direction to take. I was hoping to have heard from the attorney by now but I guess he's busy too! Help!

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A mail forwarding service is just that: a mail forwarding service. It can be in ID, SD, FL, OR or anywhere else. It has nothing to do with domicile or residency. Your insurance person is right. Register your new truck in Idaho. If you are going to be full-timers and want to move your domicile or residency to SD, then you can do so but you will have to legally become SD residents and transfer everything to SD and get on the road. If you are living in ID, residing there, then you are still ID residents. Make sense?


I don't know anything about the Escapees attorney, but I doubt you are going to hear from any attorney by email. I don't know any attorney that is going to give you advice unless you contact him/her personally and pay him/her for the services rendered.

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You left a lot out, requiring us to read between the lines and make assumptions on your intentions.

It sounds like you are about to become fulltime RV'ers. If so, you need to decide if you want to keep ID as your home state, or change to SD (or TX or FL). Since you got a SD mail forwarding, I assume that's the direction you're headed. If you plan to transfer all your vehicles and drivers license to SD soon, then you can get a 30 - 60 day temp tag on the new truck and wait til you get it to SD and transfer it and your RV to SD. Yes, you will also need to transfer all your insurance policies to SD. You need to transfer everything in your life to SD if that's going to be your new home state: drivers lic, registrations, insurance, credit cards, bank accounts, voter registration, medical insurance, investment accounts, medicare, social security, wills, etc, whatever applies to you .

Its really not complex and doesn't require legal advice if you just handle it as you're moving to a new state, lock, stock & barrel. Just as if you bought a house in SD and moved there.


If you plan to transfer everything to SD but now is not a convenient time to do all the transfers, then register/title/insur the new truck in ID for now and you can transfer everything to SD later. But you will get stuck with the ID 6% sales tax on the truck.

IF you want to stay ID residents while you fulltime, then keep everything in ID, including the new truck.

Its your choice, just don't go half way with a SD truck and a ID RV, remember you're not a SD resident until you move out of ID. whether you make the move now or later is up to you, but you need to plan a coordinated move of everything, not a piece now, a piece in 3 months and a piece next year.

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Your vehicle is "garaged" where your domicile is. As long as you are traveling that works fine. If you are going to spend many months in particular state, then that state's laws determines, lots of things, like vehicle registration, taxes, etc. Some states have been know to send you a tax bill when they find out you have been paying utility bills, phone bills, etc in their state for the length of time their law says it makes you a resident of their state. Then it becomes up to you to prove you don't need to follow their laws.


Owning "real" property in VA while having a domicile in another state may become a "legal" question for the state of VA. Will they want to tax your income because you own property in their state. It is possible you will need to do some legal stuff in VA to insure they know you no longer "live" in VA and your legal domicile is now somewhere else.


There have been several topics on this forum over the last couple of years with suggestions and advice about establishing a domicile. I believe one or two have dealt with owning real property in one state and having a domicile in another state.

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Thanks for the replies. I left 3 phone messages for the attorney and haven't heard yet, email was a last resort.


We sold our house in Idaho that's why we have everything registered here. I couldn't find a mail forward service in ID and SD was the closet. We will be full timers. I didn't want to have to go to SD right now, but it looks like I may have to. It makes sense, this would be like any other move.....I can't do a piece here and a piece there.


Thanks everyone

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"Your vehicle is "garaged" where your domicile is."


Not necessarily. There are lots of people who own a main home where their domicile is and a vacation home in another state where they keep an extra vehicle. That extra vehicle needs to be registered and licensed (and insurance paid) in the state where it remains most of the time, even though it's not the domicile state.


For a couple of years, we left our fifth wheel in Arizona year around on a lot in an RV park. We were not domiciled in Arizona, but we licensed the fifth wheel in Arizona and paid Arizona insurance on it because that was where it was garaged.


"Owning "real" property in VA while having a domicile in another state may become a "legal" question for the state of VA."


It certainly could become a problem if you stay in Virginia longer than their laws allow without registering vehicles and getting driver's licenses there. (In Arizona, for example, you can *visit* the state for 180 days, after which you are expected to register your vehicles and get driver's licenses.) However, there are lots of people who own property in more than one state (see my example above) without running afoul of the laws of either state.

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We just this second got a camp hosting job in California for the summer so I guess I'll keep everything in Idaho for now and do mail forwarding in SD. I'll let the tax man figure out the details year end.


I left so many messages for the Escapees attorney and never got a return call. Bummer.

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We just this second got a camp hosting job in California for the summer so I guess I'll keep everything in Idaho for now and do mail forwarding in SD. I'll let the tax man figure out the details year end.


I left so many messages for the Escapees attorney and never got a return call. Bummer.


I emailed sloring@generationsfinancialservices.com on 2/15/2015 and haven't heard back nor did I receive an auto-reply acknowledging receipt of my e-mail. After seeing the second post here from another individual also trying to reach Shawn I thought I would check the latest SKP Magazine to confirm the email address and see that I sent it to an incorrect address and also did not include the proper subject title. My error.


I am sure he receives a plethora of requests for information and I thought this article may be of interest to those seeking professional legal counsel: How, and How Much, do Lawyers Charge




Here is an excerpt from Shawn's column on page 56 in the April/May 2015 magazine with his current contact information:


"Have a Question?


I write about legal and financial topics derived from my experiences in my practices; however, I welcome your suggestions for topics. If you have a specific legal or financial RV-related

question, or if you have a suggestion for an article topic, e-mail me at info@mgenwealth.com. Please write “Escapees magazine topic” in the subject line. Or call me at 800-260-161"

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Hi All,


My name is Shawn Loring; I am the attorney in question. Please know that it the policy at both of my companies is that we acknowledge all contacts within one business of receiving that contact. In addition, that response will come from a person, not an automated system.


5thwheelgypsy, I am truly sorry for the multiple contacts you had to make. I will investigate, tomorrow, why you were not contacted sooner. Currently, I am booking phone appointments about 3-4 weeks into the future. I really try to give everyone personal attention, answering all of their questions. This takes a lot time. To shorten the lag time, and to answer the most commonly asked domicile questions, I am in the process of writing an expansive domicile guide, in the evenings and on weekends. This will appear free on my website. In addition, I am in the process of hiring, at least one, additional attorney to help render personalized advice.


Earl wrote, "I don't know anything about the Escapees attorney, but I doubt you are going to hear from any attorney by email. I don't know any attorney that is going to give you advice unless you contact him/her personally and pay him/her for the services rendered." While many attorneys charge for every moment you spend with them; I do not. I have a long history with the Escapees club. I became a member 13 years ago; and, I attended many Escapades prior to joining. As you all probably know, the Escapees is unlike other groups. We are a family. The unofficial mantra of the club is that "SKPs take care of SKPs." I take that very seriously. I do not charge for my educational consultations. I close all of those discussions the same way: I tell people that if they have additional questions (and they almost always do) that they may call me and I will continue the conversation free of charge. However, I do give a shameless plug for Escapees CARE in all of those conversations--calling for volunteers or donations. I raise these points not for self-promotion. Rather, I inform you of my process to give some context to why I am so busy. It appears when an attorney is giving free information, people will seek that information in droves.



5thwheelgypsy, I will attempt to answer some of your questions here so that you can make a decision about the purchase of your truck. Please know that while some may find establishing a new domicile an easy process, there are nuances and complexities between the states that one should understand. I agree with Jim2's assessment. There are many details of your circumstances that are missing from this discussion. It is impossible to render tailored advice without more, personal, information. Therefore, I will give you a generic response (meant for educational purposes only.) I sense that you have two concerns: payment of sales tax; and, avoiding domicile issues. I encourage you to discuss the payment of sales tax with your tax professional. However, some, if not most, states will tax the purchases made by their citizens even if those purchases are made out-of-state. If you are trying to trying to take advantage of South Dakota's sales/use tax, then you may have to become a domiciliary of South Dakota prior to purchasing that truck. Again, your tax professional will be better able to advice you as to your personal tax liability.


Regarding avoiding domicile issues, it is important to note there is not one universally accepted definition of domicile. However, laws and court opinions, commonly articulate that domicile as where one “intends” to permanently return. “Intends” is offset in quotes to draw attention to the notion that your intentions may be ambiguous and that your intentions may change over time. A court tasked with parsing-out a your intentions would have great latitude and discretion to examine almost any factors and circumstances connected with the manner in which your living your lifestyle. The court will then determine your intention to domicile in a particular state and county.


I prefer to frame domicile as a county-level or community-level issue. Many forums discussions and articles frame domicile as a state-level issue. While many factors RVers tend to use to evidence their domicile elections are state-level connections, some factors (e.g. voter registration) connect the RVer with a county. As well-stated by others in this thread, one remains a domiciliary of one state and county until they take measures to affirmatively connect with another state and/or county. While it is important to affirmatively connect with your new state and county, it is also important to disconnect from your old state of domicile. For example, I am aware of one couple who "connected" with South Dakota but spent a substantial amount of time in their "old" state of domicile interacting with professionals and visiting relatives. The "old" state of domicile is current alleging this couple owes taxes, penalties, and interest from a RV they purchased over 5 years ago. My point is whether you purchase the truck as a domiciliary of Idaho or of South Dakota, if you intend South Dakota to be your state of domicile (with a connection to some county therein) consider registering that truck in South Dakota, as was suggested on this thread.


I hope this helps give you direction as to your next steps. (Please know that I do not regularly check this forum. If you have follow-up questions, please call my office at 800-260-1615.)


SKP Hugs,



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