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Checklist: Establish a New Domicile

Last update on: Oct 12 2016

Domicile is a technical legal term. But you need to learn the basics of it. Your income will be taxed by the state in which you are domiciled. The state of your domicile also will require your estate to be probated there and subject to its estate or inheritance taxes. Here are the major steps you need to take to clearly abandon an old domicile and establish a new one. You don’t have to take each step, and there is no one step that is vital. A state will look at the preponderance of the steps you took to determine if you abandoned your old domicile.

  1. Spend less than 180 days annually in the state of your old domicile.
  2. Move most non-real estate assets to your new state.
  3. Maintain a permanent home address in the new state.
  4. Sell your home and other real estate in the old state.
  5. Apply for and obtain a homestead exemption in the new state, if one is available.
  6. End business relationships in the old state by selling businesses, retiring from jobs, etc.
  7. Change financial accounts to the new state.
  8. Terminate voter registration in the old state and register in the new one.
  9. Shift any safe deposit boxes and personal storage to the new state.
  10. If the new state provides an affidavit of domicile, file one as appropriate in the new state.
  11. Have your will and estate plan updated to comply with the new state.
  12. File all tax returns with the new state listed as your address. File all local tax returns in the new state.
  13. Change registration of automobiles and other personal property to the new state. Cancel registration in the old state.
  14. Obtain a driver’s license and library card in the new state.
  15. Changing your mailing address on everything, especially credit cards, bills, Social Security and other pension checks, financial accounts, and all business and financial correspondence.
  16. Terminate all religious and club affiliations and memberships in the old state; establish new ones in the new state.
  17. Consider obtaining a cemetery plot in the new state.


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