Welcome New Florida Residents!

Written by Dorothy L. Korszen | dkorszen@farr.com


Farr Trusts and Estate Attorney Dorothy L. Korszen, Serving Punta Gorda, Venice, Englewood and Southwest FL. Call 941.639.1158. (image)

Attorney Dorothy L. Korszen
Dorothy’s practice focuses on trusts and estates, real estate, and business and corporate law.

Visitors often wish to become Florida residents not only for our sun and beaches, but also for our favorable homestead benefits and tax regime.  Florida offers residents many benefits, including reduction on property taxes for homestead property, the Save Our Homes cap limiting the assessed value of homestead property for property tax purposes, creditor protection for homestead property and the absence of state income and property tax for Florida residents.  Often, “snowbirds” who vacationed in Florida decide to make this home. A lesser discussed area of Florida’s homestead protection is the restriction on devise and descent—meaning how you can transfer homestead property after you pass away.  Under the Florida Constitution, if you are married and have no minor children and you own homestead property in your own name alone, the only way you can transfer this property at death is to your spouse, unless you have a valid pre- or post-nuptial agreement.  An invalid devise can mean that the surviving spouse may be left with a life estate, and the deceased spouse’s children will own the remainder interest.  This is generally not what the couple intended.  Snowbirds often buy their Florida vacation home in one name alone, so they should review how they own their Florida home if they decide to stay. Charlotte County Homestead Information Sarasota County Homestead Information