How do I officially become a Florida resident?


Q. I’m thinking of moving to Florida. I know I have to take steps to make it official. What do I have to do?
— Thinking

A. There are several steps you need to take to make your domicile official.

Right now many people are planning on moving to low-cost states such as Florida, Texas and Wyoming, said Jerry Lynch, a certified financial planner with JFL Total Wealth Management in Boonton.

“That will continue as people can work from anywhere and it is hard to justify the cost of living in New Jersey,” he said. “New Jersey and New York are losing a tremendous amount of money from wealthy people that can afford two residences and they are getting ticked off, so there is a very high audit rate.”

If you’re planning to move and not keep your New Jersey residence, it’s simple and you can just move.

But if you’re planning to have two homes, you have to show that you’ve changed your legal domicile.

You need to spend 183 days or more in Florida, and you should keep records — a simple calendar would do — to show when you leave the state

Then you should change your driver’s license, voter registration and any legal documents, such as trusts or wills, to reflect your new address.

Make sure you change your mailing address and also find new doctors in your new state, Lynch said.

He recommends if you plan to keep two homes, make sure to work with a good tax attorney or CPA to make sure you’re covered.

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This story was originally published on Jan. 11, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.