Get Answers to Your Highest Priority South Dakota Legal Questions

Swier Law Firm FAQ

 

Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.

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  • What standard does a court use in minor child relocation hearing?

    Beginning on July 1, 2020, a court must consider the "best interest of the child" standard if the proposed relocation would result in a substantial alteration to the existing parenting time arrangement.

  • In South Dakota, how many days are allowed for the solemnization of marriage?

    Beginning on July 1, 2020, any marriage license issued in South Dakota will become void unless the marriage is solemnized within ninety days.

  • In South Dakota, can a superintendent require a certification of health of a school district employee?

    Yes. If there is reasonable cause to believe that a school district employee is suffering from a mental or physical condition that could be detrimental to the health or safety of the employee, any student, or any other employee, the superintendent may require a certification of health. The expense of obtaining the certification of health ia paid by the school.

  • Are uncertified school administrators subject to the South Dakota Code of Ethics?

    Yes. Individuals employed in an administrative capacity, but who do not hold a valid South Dakota certificate, are subject to the Code of Professional Ethics.

  • What is a "stepped-up" basis?

    The "basis" of an asset is what a person has paid for an asset together with money invested in an asset after purchase This determines gain/loss for income tax purposes.

    A "stepped-up basis" occurs when assets get a new basis when they are passed by inheritance (through will or trust). These assets will be re-valued as of the date of death of the owner.

    If the value of the asset has gone up in value since purchase, the new owner will take that asset with a new basis equal to the current value without paying tax on that increase. This has the potential to save a significant amount of capital gains upon sale in the future and can be a good way to do some strategic estate planning.

    Example: My mom bought real estate in 1950 for $25,000. When she died last year it was appraised at $500,000. I received that real estate from her estate and my basis is now $500,000 tax-free. If my mom had sold this real estate before she died she would have had to pay taxes on $425,000 of gain, but because she died with the property I received a "step-up" in basis to the current value.

  • What is the "basis" of an asset?

    The "basis"of an asset is what a person has paid for an asset together with money invested in an asset after purchase. This determines gain/loss for income tax purposes.

    Example: You purchased your house for $100,000, but have since had to put on a new roof for $3,000, you added on a garage for $10,000, and updated the windows for $4,000. Your new basis in your house is now $117,000 ($100,000 + $3,000 + $10,000 + $4,000).

  • What is a "stepped-down" basis?

    The "basis" of an asset is what a person has paid for an asset together with money invested in an asset after purchase This determines gain/loss for income tax purposes.

    A "stepped-down" basis is the same as the "stepped-up" basis - except the asset has gone down in value since it was purchased. The new owner would take that asset with a new lower (stepped-down) basis. This depends on the value as of the date-of-death of the owner compared to the price the owner originally purchased the asset.

    Example: Dad was convinced that AOL was going to make a comeback. He bought it for $50,000 and it’s now worth $10,000. Instead of selling his AOL stock at a loss during his lifetime he held onto it. I now own it with a basis of $10,000.

  • What is a South Dakota "trust company"?

    A South Dakota "trust company" is an institution specializing in the management of trusts. There are lots of trust companies in South Dakota because of the favorable trust laws of our state. They serve as a corporate trustee and can have roles ranging from specific to general depending on the needs of the family. These roles can change over the years.

    Example: When we formed our South Dakota trust we had to hire a South Dakota trust company as the trustee so we can take advantage of South Dakota law, but we still have a lot of control over all the assets. It’s a win-win situation.

  • Is it legal for someone to accept money or other things of value in an adoption in South Dakota?

    No. In fact, under South Dakota law, any person who offers, gives or receives any money, or other consideration or thing of value, in connection with the placing of any child for adoption, with the consent to adoption, or with the petition for adoption except for charges approved by the court and fees charged by licensed agencies is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

  • Are uncertified school administrators subject to the South Dakota Professional Administrators Code of Ethics?

    Yes. In South Dakota, anyone employed in an administrative capacity, but who does not hold a valid South Dakota certificate, is subject to the code of professional ethics.