1. Money
Julie Garber

Yes, the Rich Move to Avoid Cold Weather and Estate Taxes

By June 21, 2010

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My theory that the wealthy move to avoid taxes - both income taxes and estate taxes - has been confirmed by a study conducted by Forbes Magazine, which analyzed data from the IRS and concluded that in 2008, Collier County, Florida (think Naples and Marco Island) had the largest influx of wealthy residents. Rounding out the top ten counties where the rich moved in 2008 are three other counties located in Florida (#3 - Nassau, #5 - Walton, #10 - Sumter) and three located in Texas (#4 - Llano, #6 - Bandera, #8 - Kendall), two states that do not collect state income taxes or estate taxes. Of the three remaining counties, all three (#2 - Greene County, Georgia, #7 - Goochland County, Virginia, #9 Georgetown County, South Carolina) are located in states that do not collect a state estate tax.

While the IRS points out that the numbers Forbes used to do its analysis are incomplete since they exclude people who did not file an income tax return and those who filed on extension for the 2008 tax year, it still shows a common trend that I see in my estate planning practice day in and day out - wealthy people, who have the means and where-with-all to do so, do move from places like Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Oregon (think cold and dreary winters coupled with state income taxes and estate taxes, not to mention state inheritance taxes in Maryland and New Jersey) to places like sunny, income-tax and estate-tax-free Florida. For those with the means and where-with-all to move, its just common sense.

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