Relocating to Florida
Helping You Get Tax Benefits through a Change of Residency
One of our most unique features at Daniel I. Ward & Associates, P.C. is our presence in Florida. Most attorneys in the northeast need to engage the assistance of a Florida attorney when a client is seeking relocation. At Daniel I. Ward & Associates, P.C., we maintain offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. This allows us to assist clients moving to Florida without the added expense and confusion of outside counsel.
If you are planning to relocate to Florida, properly documenting your change in domicile is extremely important, since the tax laws in Florida differ drastically than those in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Differing laws of New Jersey and Florida
If you are a New Jersey resident, you are aware there are state income taxes. The state of Florida has no state income tax. Consequently, if you are a New Jersey resident and you want to reduce your potential tax liability, becoming a resident of Florida can help you do that.
New Jersey is also one of a number of states that impose a state estate tax (based on how much you own at death), in addition to a state inheritance tax (based on who your property goes to at death). While recent legislation will repeal the estate tax effective January 1, 2018, the New Jersey inheritance tax will remain. The state of Florida, on the other hand, currently has no estate tax and no inheritance tax.
Differing Laws of Pennsylvania and Florida
Pennsylvania levies a state income tax against its residents, as well as an inheritance tax (based on who your property goes to at death) when a person dies a resident of Pennsylvania. Florida, on the other hand, has no state income tax and no state death taxes. Consequently, your tax bill can change drastically depending on whether, for tax purposes, you are a resident of Pennsylvania or Florida.
Ensuring Your Move Meets Certain Criteria
If you are planning a move, or you currently have property and spend time in both states but are unsure which state is your legal domicile, you want an experienced lawyer, well-versed in the laws of both jurisdictions, to make certain you take the right steps to legally change your domicile.
Actually changing your residency status requires that you take specific steps to terminate your residency in other states. We will help you secure all the tax benefits of living in Florida by preparing and filing all necessary documents, including:
- Revise your estate plan to comply with Florida laws and to identify your residence in all estate planning documents as Florida.
- A Florida Declaration of Domicile, stating that you maintain a residence in Florida and intend that it be your permanent, predominant, and principal home.
- File a homestead exemption, which protects your home from any creditor other than a mortgagee.