If a person’s usual place of dwelling was in Florida then the original probate should be opened in Florida. We see cases where someone is in the process of or has just moved to Florida and the issue of where to open a probate becomes more complex. In those instances where it may be difficult to determine the exact residence of the decedent there are several factors that should be evaluated to determine the residence.
1) Ownership of a home(s), and the percentage of time spent in each state.
2) Had the decedent applied for and are they currently receiving homestead exemptions in either state?
3) Where is the decedent employed?
4) Does the decedent own business interests?
5) If a homestead cannot be determined, where else does decedent own property?
6) Where are their federal tax returns filed?
7) State of Vehicle registration, Drivers license.
8) Location of Will, Ownership of cemetery lot.
9) Affidavit of domicile as found in Florida Statutes 222.17.
10) Religious, social, and union affiliations.
11) Charitable contributions.
12) Children’s school attendance or activities.
13) Official termination of residence in one state by notice to taxing officer, cancellation of voter registration, change of DL, vehicle registration, and insurance.
14) Specific provisions in the will reciting the domicile.
If you have recently moved to Florida, it is important to update your Florida Will and when this is done you may also want to execute documents to make sure your domicile is Florida in terms of administration of you estate. For questions on how to accomplish this, Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer