As part of our 3 to 10 year travel plan, we will no longer have a residential address. As a result, there are a lot of details that need to be addressed – making sure legal doc’s are accurate, changing driver’s licenses, updating voting registration, getting everything possible delivered online, figuring out how to get US mail, etc. We started with legal documents first because we expected they would take the longest. Michael’s and my plan is to leave the bulk of our money to a charitable foundation we’re creating to support the health, education and wellbeing of the children in Grenada. These documents, plus our wills which fund the foundation, were created in Connecticut years ago. We met with a Florida lawyer, Carrie Pearlmutter of Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A. to help us make sure everything was in line with Florida law, make updates reflecting recent changes in the law and to be sure everything would hold up in court even though we might not be “residing” in Florida. We determined that Florida would still be considered our legal domicile since we wouldn’t be staying in any other location for more than 3 months. With Carrie’s and Helen Atter’s guidance, we were able to get all these documents updated. At the same time, we updated our Power of Attorney and HealthCare documents so legally we’re all set. We now have a beautiful set of estate documents sitting in storage as well as electronic copies.
Updating our mailing address for the most part is no issue. When we moved to Florida we had set up a UPS mailbox as our mailing address because we were both still traveling for work and didn’t want mail piling up if we were out-of-town. We told UPS of our travel plans and that we would periodically give them a new address for forwarding mail. Our agreement is that they would forward anything important immediately, otherwise would bundle up mail weekly and forward after discarding any junk mail. Our role would be to make sure we had a way to receive mail in each location. I called the Key West post office, our first stop, and they said as long as there was a mailbox, they could deliver mail to us so we’re all set for now. Next, Michael spoke to the Department of Motor Vehicles because Driver’s Licenses have residential addresses and we are not allowed to use a mailing address. He spoke with a woman who said in these situations they use the actual license plate as the address. How wild is that? Anyway, of course when we went to actually change our licenses, the person behind the counter had never heard of this. After conferring with a few colleagues he determined that we could do this but it was a long, tedious process to make sure it was completed correctly. We now are officially living in our car!
We still wanted to be able to vote while we are traveling so my next stop was the Jacksonville Board of Elections. I had searched the website but couldn’t find a way to legally vote without a residential address. I thought this was going to be a real hassle but it turned out to be extremely easy. The young woman who fields questions was almost positive that we could do this by using legaltheir address and it happened that the Supervisor of Elections, Jerry Holland, was walking by and confirmed this was correct. He said we could use their address indefinitely as long as we didn’t reside in any single location for more than 6 months – all we needed to do was complete a form and then request mail-in ballots that could be sent to our mailing address. This was one of the most pleasant and satisfying government experiences I’ve ever had. I’m sure a few more items will pop up as we are traveling but for now, we are all set.