Here's Why Florida is the Preferred Domicile for Full-Time RV Travelers and Retirees

Amanda Lynch Elliott

by Amanda Lynch Elliott

Amanda Lynch Elliott is a native of Pensacola and an associate attorney with My Pink Lawyer®. Amanda and her husband recently became new parents for the first time. Amanda enjoys running, yoga and paddle boarding, and has a twin sister.

Did you know that many fulltime RV-ers choose Florida as their domicile?

 

Neither did we!

 

All Floridians are probably accustomed to the snowbirds that pile in each winter, but we were not expecting the string of itinerant clients in the springtime that were all passing through Pensacola in their RVs.

 

The population of fulltime RV-ers ranges from solo travelers and retirees, to young families with kids.

 

Meeting with these clients was so much fun! Talk about living your best life! 

 

One of our female clients embarked on the journey solo only to meet her now-husband – also a fulltime ‘er - down the proverbial road.

 

Another couple had just returned from a cross-country tour and were quickly checking off the destinations on their vision board.

 

All of their stories were incredibly interesting and each traveler had a unique reason as to why he/she decided to ditch their respective homes.

 

From the folks they met along the way, to all of the beautiful places they were seeing and what destination was up next on the list – these meetings were super inspirational and the sting of the travel bug’s bites lingered long after the meetings were over.

 

 

So why are so many of these “modern nomads” choosing Florida as their domicile?

 

[A domicile is your home, the state you consider your permanent place of residence. You can have more than one residence, but only one domicile.]

 

Although the decision to forego the brick and mortar home and superfluous belongings seems simple, there are certain things like insurance, voting, and mail, that require a domicile.

 

We learned that Florida offers significant advantages such as no property taxes on RVs and no state income tax. 

 

Florida also does not require vehicle inspections which would otherwise require a trip back to the domicile state at least annually.

 

Additionally, Florida offers health care plans that allow citizens to use health care services outside of the state other than just for emergencies.

 

Once the decision is made, actually establishing domicile in Florida requires a little more strategy, pre-planning, and leg work, including: 

  • setting up a mailing service;
  • updating bank/financial accounts with new Florida address;
  • updating your auto insurance to a Florida policy;
  • verifying VIN and odometer readings (this requires a notary); and
  • visiting the DMV to register your RV in Florida.



Finally, to solidify that that this is your “home state,” health insurance must be obtained within the state and significant connections must be established including physicians and (you guessed it!) lawyers for estate planning.

 

Like anything worth having or doing, making the leap to RV living requires effort.

 

Similarly, structuring your affairs to avoid a mess after you’re gone requires pre-planning, but will be so worth it for the hassle that your family will avoid as a result.

 

RV’ers and others who own property located in multiple states will face particularly complex probate issues if no action is taken to plan in advance.

 

While costly if unaddressed, when you meet with one of the skilled attorneys at My Pink Lawyer®, we will identify what you are trying to accomplish and instruct you on the simplest, most cost-effective way to accomplish your goals.

 

While RV living undeniably comes with its own set of responsibilities, the simplicity and freedom is attractive.

 

Forethought on your part now will ensure that your loved ones enjoy freedom from future estate planning disasters. Talk about a great legacy to leave your loved ones!

 

Amanda “Wanderlusting” Lynch Elliott

 

P.S. Click here to order your FREE copy of my book and learn how to avoid the 10 Most Common Yet Easily Avoidable Estate Planning Mistakes that cost your family thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees and time delays, and learn how to make the transition process simply for your loved ones. 

 

P.P.S. Click here to schedule your Estate & Legacy Planning Strategy Meeting with My Pink Lawyer®. 

 

P.P.S. Call our office now: 850-439-1191 to RSVP for our free upcoming workshop “Wine & Cheese Gallery Night Kickoff” on Friday, July 19th at 4:00pm and quickly learn how to avoid the 10 Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes in person.