November 6, 2023

Navigating the Snowbird’s Estate: Key Considerations for New York, New Jersey, and Florida Residents

Snowbirds, those fortunate individuals who migrate from the chilly northern states to the sunny shores of Florida during the winter months, enjoy a unique lifestyle. However, this lifestyle can also bring about distinct estate planning challenges. At Kelley Kronenberg, our team of New York, New Jersey, and Florida estate planning attorneys understand the intricacies involved in crafting estate plans for snowbirds. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the critical estate planning issues that affect snowbirds and offer guidance on how to address them.

  1. Dual Residency and Tax Considerations

One of the most significant estate planning challenges for snowbirds is navigating dual residency. Snowbirds often maintain homes in New York or New Jersey and Florida, which can lead to complications in determining which state’s laws apply to their estate. Each state has its own rules regarding estate taxes, inheritance laws, and probate processes. It’s crucial to work with an attorney experienced in New York, New Jersey, and Florida estate planning to ensure your estate plan complies with the laws of the applicable states and minimizes tax liabilities. 

  1. Choosing the Right Domicile

Deciding where to establish your primary domicile can greatly impact your estate plan. Florida is a popular choice for snowbirds due to its lack of state income tax and favorable estate tax laws. However, it’s essential to establish genuine residency in Florida, as merely owning property in the state may not be sufficient. Consult with an attorney to determine the best domicile for your specific circumstances and ensure you meet the residency requirements. 

  1. Updating Your Estate Plan Regularly

Life is ever-changing, and your estate plan should reflect these changes. Snowbirds often have multiple assets and accounts in different states, making it crucial to keep your estate plan up to date. Ensure that your will, trust, and other estate planning documents accurately reflect your wishes and consider creating a revocable living trust to simplify the transfer of assets between states. 

  1. Coordination with Healthcare Directives

Another essential aspect of estate planning for snowbirds is coordinating your healthcare directives between states. If you have medical preferences documented in New York/New Jersey and Florida, make sure they align. Also, inform your healthcare providers in both states about your wishes and provide them with copies of your healthcare directives. 

  1. Handling Real Estate in Two States

Snowbirds often own real estate in both their home state and their winter residence. It’s important to address these properties in your estate plan, considering issues such as ownership structure, maintenance, and disposition in case of incapacity or death. Your attorney can help you determine the best way to hold and transfer these properties efficiently. 


Estate planning for snowbirds is undoubtedly a complex endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The seasoned estate planning attorneys at Kelley Kronenberg understand the intricate dynamics of dual residency and the nuances of New York, New Jersey, and Florida’s legal landscapes. We’re here to ensure that your estate planning journey is as seamless as possible. 

When you choose Kelley Kronenberg, you’re choosing a single, unified team with expertise in New York, New Jersey, and Florida estate planning laws. This means you won’t have to deal with multiple attorneys or incur the costs of double work. Our integrated approach ensures that every aspect of your estate plan is crafted with precision, addressing the unique challenges that snowbirds face. 

Your peace of mind is our priority, and we’re committed to helping you protect your assets, minimize tax liabilities, and preserve your legacy. Don’t let the complexities of dual residency deter you from securing your financial future. Contact Kelley Kronenberg today, and let our experienced team guide you through the intricate world of snowbird estate planning. Your future deserves nothing less than the best, and we’re here to provide it. For more information and to schedule a consult, please click here.

Robert Segear
Partner, Snowbird Planning
Kelley Kronenberg-New York City, NY
(845) 306-7867