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When Your House Is Not Your Home


Domicile versus residence - what is the difference and why should you care?  You may have many residences, but you have only one domicile.  For tax purposes, your domicile is the state where you have your true, fixed and permanent home and to which, when you are away at your vacation residence or elsewhere, you always intend to return. Think of your domicile state as your home. Why is this important?  There may be significant tax advantages or disadvantages associated with which state you intentionally or unintentionally choose as your domicile. 


There are only three states in the West that currently impose a state estate tax: Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.  If you are domiciled in one of these three states your estate may be subject to state estate tax, and if you are domiciled in Washington, your estate may be subject to the highest state estate tax in the country.


So what can be done?  The possibility exists that you could save millions of dollars in taxes by changing your state of domicile.  


Ask your tax advisor for details or contact Gary Holcomb, Director of Fiduciary Services at Berntson Porter & Company at 425-289-7636. 

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