Are You Domiciled in Florida?

Your domicile is the place upon which an individual has voluntarily decided to reside permanently.  In the ordinary sense, a persons domicile is the place where he lives and where he has his or her home.  However, the legal definition is more specific.  The plan in which a person has his or her permanent home and principal establishment upon which he intends to return whenever he is absent would fit the legal definition of domicile.

Why is it Important to Determine Domicile?

The domicile that one chooses has legal consequences. One’s domicile determines which state can probate a will.  It also determines which state can collect estate taxes when someone dies.  One’s domicile establishes where an individual may exercise certain legal rights and privileges.  Where one has the privilege to vote is determined by domicile.

What is the Difference Between Domicile and Residence?

The notion of what a “domicile” is may be easily confused with “residence”.  Although a person can have numerous residences, the one that person intends to return to and which he or she considers his or her permanent residence is often defined as one’s domicile.  Determining one’s domicile requires a court to determine a person’s intent, which is decided by evaluating several factors about the way a person lives.  Courts review an individual’s overall manner of living to determine one’s domicile.

What Factors Determine Domicile?

Some of the items that may be reviewed to determine one’s domicile are:

  • Whether or not one has filed a Declaration of Domicile[1], which is a document declaring your domicile that is recorded at the county courthouse.
  • The state in which one maintains a driver’s license.
  • The state in which one has purchased and furnished a home.
  • The state an individual has vehicles registered.
  • The state that a person is physically present frequently.
  • The state in which one receives mail.
  • The State in which one executed his or her will.
  • The state where an individual pays state and local taxes.
  • The state in which one has their bank accounts.

Know Your Rights and Get Professional Advice.

If you are scheduled to appear before a Florida court in a matter in which your domicile is an issue, you should seek an experienced attorney for help.  The attorneys at the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC are experienced in civil and criminal cases and they can help you sort out the factors that will help you decide how to proceed.  To schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney, Call (904) 685-1200 today.  Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, 4115 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, Florida 32207.  Telephone (904) 685-1200.

About the author

Neil Weinreb is a licensed Florida attorney who has been practicing law for over 17 years in North Florida.  Mr. Weinreb received the highest possible rating from Martindale Hubbell, AV Pre-eminent.  Mr. Weinreb works for the Law Office of David M. Goldman in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mr. Weinreb has worked as an adjunct professor teaching law to paralegal students at Jones College in Jacksonville, Florida.  You can contact Mr. Weinreb at the Law Office of David M. Goldman for a free initial consultation.


[1] Florida residents can file a document called a Declaration of Domicile.  This form is a declaration indicating that an individual has the intent to reside and remain in Florida as their home.  The Declaration of Domicile is authorized by Florida Statute.

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