Florida has long upheld that the actual intent of the individual is the primary factor in determining residency, particularly for protection under the applicable laws. Florida statute says that residency in Florida is defined as the "Intention
to establish a permanent residence in this state."
The Supreme Court of Florida has consistently found that a key element of residency is the specific intent
of the individual. Under all of the relevant factors regarding legal residence, other forms of intent may be required by the courts and/or the county property appraiser, including clear and documented intention to be a Florida resident such as, Florida drivers license, registration to vote in Florida, and the Florida tags on automobiles.
In addition, employment, statements of intent and formal declarations will suffice. The requirement for ownership regarding equity protection under the homestead law is legal or equitable title. It is the clear and documented intention
to continue full residence in Florida that is the key to the requirement and the protection of your home's equity.
Black's Law Dictionary (6th Ed.) Definition:
- The ownership interest of one who has equitable as contrasted with legal ownership of property as in the case of a trust beneficiary. Ownership rights which are protected in equity. See also Equitable Interest.
- The interest of a beneficiary under a trust is considered equitable as contrasted with the interest of the trustee which is a legal interest because the trustee has legal as contrasted with equitable title. Also see Restatement, Second, Trusts, sec. 2f.
Also do a search on this BBS
for case law regarding 'intent'...Also, see this thread