The terms “temporary stay”, “residence” and “domicile” refer to the same thing, namely, a person’s physical presence at a certain location. The length of one’s stay, as well as the intent, determines whether something is a stay, a residence or domicile. Applicability of a particular term has important consequences. For example, a landlord owes a duty to an occupant who is a resident, but not to a visitor Yaniveth R. v LTD Realty Co., 27 N.Y.3d 186 (N.Y. 2016). Another example, is an application for state Medicaid or Welfare benefits must be made in a county where the applicant is Domiciled, even if the person happens to temporarily reside elsewhere.
So what is the difference between these terms?
Temporary Stay means exactly that.
“Residence” connotes an increased commitment to a particular location. As recently defined by NY Courts, it entails “something more than temporary or physical presence,” with some “degree of permanence and an intention to remain” (Dean v Tower Ins. Co. of NY, 19 NY3d 704, 708, 979 N.E.2d 1143, 955 N.Y.S.2d 817 ).
“Domicile” is the most permanent form of stay. The term means residing in a location with the intention to make it one’s domicile. By definition, a person can have only one domicile. To make a location one’s domicile requires an act, moving to that location or declaring that location to be a domicile, and intent, intending for the location to be a domicile. Therefore, if either an act or intent to change a domicile is missing, a person may end up residing in one place, but be domiciled in another In re Estate of NEWCOMB, 192 N.Y. 238 (N.Y. 1908).