Snow Bird Counsel

Licensed in Minnesota and Florida, and well versed in both states' tax and estate laws, Sarah provides knowledgeable, fully integrated representation to snow birds who split their time between the two locations.

That is particularly important now, in the wake of the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The new federal law imposes a $10,000 cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes, often referred to as the SALT deduction, and makes other changes that threaten to significantly raise Minnesota residents’ tax bills, increasing the appeal of low-tax winter destinations such as Florida.

Simply purchasing a vacation home in a low-tax state like Florida isn’t enough to claim residence there for tax purposes. Minnesota natives hoping to establish residence in Florida must establish that their vacation home is their domicile, a legal term that reflects the place a person is physically present and considers home. This is not a simple matter.

Sarah is adept at guiding clients through the arcane process of establishing their domicile in Florida, which at a minimum, includes demonstrating that they spend at least 183 days there each year, but also requires taking a litany of other steps to demonstrate that Florida is their primary residence. Each state has different residency rules, and Minnesota has been aggressive in auditing people who change their residency to Florida. As an attorney who is licensed in Minnesota and Florida, Sarah can counsel clients on both fronts, providing seamless representation.

Whether you already have two homes and want to switch your legal residence to Florida or are considering the purchase of a vacation home in Florida and want to make it your domicile, Sarah and her colleagues in the firm’s Minneapolis, Miami and West Palm Beach offices have the in-depth knowledge to handle every part of the process, from estate planning to tax advice to deciphering the residency requirements of both states.