Domicile Law and Legal Definition

Domicile is the place where a person has his/her permanent principal home to which, whenever he/she is absent, he/she returns or intends to return. Domicile is important because it is used in determining in what state a probate of a dead person's estate is filed, what state can assess income or inheritance taxes, where a party can begin divorce proceedings, or whether there is "diversity of citizenship" between two parties which may give federal courts jurisdiction over a lawsuit. Where a person has several "residences" evidence may need to be examined to determine which is the state of domicile. A person may have only one domicile at a single point in time. A business has its domicile in the state where its headquarters is located. For tax purposes, a business' domicile is often a principal place of business.