FLORIDA RESIDENCE AND DOMICILE DECLARATION | LEE COUNTY
Lee County Florida residency or declaration of domicile in Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers (Lee County) can be obtained by filing at the Lee County Clerk of Courts. If for instance you decide to purchase a home in Estero or Bonita Springs, the form you must fill out is called a sworn declaration of domicile with the clerk of the circuit court.This written and signed legal declaration can be of benefit to you in many ways, as the State of Florida is also known for its liberal asset protection laws.
Other benefits include tax advantages such as no state or personal income tax, no state death tax or estate tax, homestead law (protects you from losing your home to a creditor), homestead exemption and tenancy by the entireties (married couples) with excellent asset protection benefits. If you have college bound children, they will also enjoy lower in-state tuition fees.
There can be many potential tax savings with Florida residency including a reduction in taxes, minimizing capital gains on highly appreciated assets and more.
You should distinguish between Florida residency and having a Florida residence. You can enjoy simultaneous ownership of a home in another state contingent upon the fact that your primary residence is maintained only in Florida. Permanent residence is the place of your permanent dwelling that you have the intention of returning to whenever you are absent. In order for you to establish permanent Florida residency, several factors are considered including the signed affidavit, filing for homestead exemption, registration to vote in Florida, Florida driver's license, Florida license tags on vehicles, Florida address on federal income tax forms, previously filed Florida intangible tax return, designated mailing address, informal statements of residency, termination of previous residency in a different state and/or place of employment. Your commitment to remain in Florida for longer periods of time will also affirm your claim for Florida residency.
There is no waiting period that you need to go through in order to establish Florida residency. If you know that you are buying your home and wish to make use of it as your primary dwelling, you are entitled to becoming a Florida resident and file a declaration of domicile that will allow you to benefit from the advantageous asset protection laws.
You may fill out the declaration of domicile form and bring to:
Lee County Clerk of Courts
County Administration Building
2115 Second Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Hours: M-F (8 am to 5 pm)
This written material is for informational purposes only. Please consult a financial advisor and legal counsel from the State of Florida as well as in your current state before making your decision to establish Florida residency. If you are Canadian, please consult our page on Canadians Buying A Home In Florida.