Is Assisted Living Considered a Domicile?

Assisted living may be considered a domicile, depending on state laws and individual circumstances. An assisted living community could be a senior’s domicile if they move there permanently and retain no links with a former residence. However, facilities don’t class as domiciles for those receiving temporary respite care. Distinct from a person’s residence, a domicile has wide-ranging implications.

Definition of a Domicile

Domicile refers to an individual’s permanent legal residence and where they intend to live for the foreseeable future. People also have substantial connections with their domicile, such as submitting benefits claims, filing tax returns and receiving medical communications at that address. A person can have multiple residences but only one domicile. 

For example, a senior could reside temporarily in an assisted living facility while receiving respite care but later return to their private home. On the other hand, many individuals permanently move to assisted living communities and create a new home. If they require a temporary stay in a hospital or nursing home, the assisted living facility remains their domicile. Because laws vary among states, seniors usually benefit from consulting an attorney for guidance.

Importance of Understanding a Senior’s Domicile

Knowing a senior’s domicile has legal, financial and administrative implications. It also ensures individuals comply with relevant local rules and regulations and affects their rights and obligations. Impacts of domicile extend to: