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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 is a school district’s responsibility in reviewing an open enrollment request?

     

    A school district must grant a request for a transfer into the district or within the district unless the transfer would result in an inability to provide a quality educational program based on criteria established by the district under S.D.C.L. § 13-28-44. 

  • May a teacher wear a political button, pin, or T-shirt in the classroom?

     

    The Supreme Court has stated that a school district may refuse to sponsor speech that might reasonably be perceived to “associate the school with any position other than neutrality on matters of political controversy.” On this basis, a school board may adopt a viewpoint-neutral dress code policy that prevents its employees from wearing political buttons, pins, or T-shirts at work during work hours. Enforcement of the policy would avoid creating an impression that the school district endorses a particular party or political view.

  • May a school board prohibit employees from engaging in political activities on their personal time?

     

    The United States Supreme Court has ruled that public school teachers, like other public employees, do not forfeit their constitutional protections when they take a government job. Among the constitutional protections provided are those established under the First Amendment, including the freedom of speech.

  • South Dakota Estate Planning - What Gifts Are Not Taxable?

    There is no limit to the amount you can give to your spouse, if you are both U.S. citizens. However, if you are a U.S. citizen but your spouse is not, you can give up to $152,000 to your spouse in 2019. Other common non-taxable gifts are:

    • Tuition costs you pay for another person have no limit, as long as you pay the institution directly.
    • Healthcare costs you pay for another person have no limit, as long as you pay the hospital or medical professional directly.
    • Charitable contributions are also limitless, as long as the charity qualifies.

    Do You Need To Speak With A Lawyer About Estate Planning?

    If you need to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981. We will be happy to discuss your legal options!

  • South Dakota Estate Planning - What Is The Annual Gift Tax Exclusion?

    You can give away up to $15,000 per year, per beneficiary, with no gift tax consequences to the recipient or yourself. This strategy can be as easy as writing a check to each of your loved ones during the holidays. The assets you give away using the annual gift tax exclusion do not count toward the lifetime exemption.

    Do You Need To Speak With A Lawyer About Estate Planning?

    If you need to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981. We will be happy to discuss your legal options!

  • South Dakota Estate Planning - What Is Lifetime Gift Planning?

    Lifetime gift tax planning allows you to give assets to loved ones, without paying gift taxes now or estate taxes later. Years ago, the federal government found that taxpayers were trying to avoid estate taxes, by giving away some of their property while still alive. As the donors saw their loved ones enjoying the gifts, the IRS saw the taxpayers avoiding or reducing estate taxes on these gifted assets at the death.

    As a result, the gift tax was enacted to keep people from avoiding the estate tax. The basic concept is - when you give someone an asset that exceeds a permitted amount, you (the donor) must pay the IRS for that privilege, in the form of a gift tax.

    If you are trying to use the lifetime wealth transfers to lower the total value of your estate and avoid or reduce estate taxes, here are three things you need to know:

    • The annual gift tax exclusion is $15,000 in 2019.
    • The lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion is $11.4 million in 2019.
    • Some gifts are not subject to the gift tax at all.

    Do You Need To Speak With A Lawyer About Estate Planning?

    If you need to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981. We will be happy to discuss your legal options!

  • South Dakota Estate Planning - What Are The Lifetime Estate And Gift Tax Exemptions?

    Gifts exceeding the annual gift tax exclusion can fall under the lifetime estate and gift tax exemption, but you must file a timely gift tax return. For example, if one of your children is having financial issues, you should first maximize your annual exclusion and then apply gift amounts over that limit against the lifetime exemption.

    The lifetime exemption is $11.4 million for 2019. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the limit was $5.49 million in 2017. Unless made “permanent,” the current exemption amount will expire at the end of 2025 and the exemption could go back to the pre-TCJA limit.

    The IRS combines the estate and gift tax exemption for a total exemption of $11.4 million. In other words, if you do not use any of the gift tax exemption while you are alive and you die in 2019, your estate will have the full $11.4 million estate tax exemption. If you use $4 million of the gift tax exemption while you are alive and you die in 2019, your estate will have a $7.4 estate tax exemption remaining. In this way, the federal estate and gift tax exemption is considered to be a “unified” tax.

    Do You Need To Speak With A Lawyer About Estate Planning?

    If you need to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981. We will be happy to discuss your legal options!

  • What are Field Sobriety Exercises (FSE)?

    Field Sobriety Tests (FSE) are a set of divided attention tasks given on the roadside such as – walking on a straight line, standing on one leg while counting out loud, and touching your finger to your nose with your eyes closed.

    DUI Lawyer Swier Law Firm

    The purpose of these exercises is to prove that a person is impaired. These exercises are then “graded” by the law enforcement officer as they are performed. However, the “grading” can be very subjective on the part of the officer. Whether you pass or fail is often based on the officer’s personal observations and impressions, not on any objective criteria

    Have You Been Charged With DUI (Driving Under The Influence)In South Dakota?

    If you've been accused and arrested for driving under the influence in South Dakota you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981 to schedule your free consultation.

  • If I’m pulled over for a potential DUI, am I required to take a breath test?

    Yes. Any person operating a vehicle which has been involved in an accident or which is operated in violation of our state’s DUI laws, must, at the request of a law enforcement officer, submit to a breath test to be administered by the officer. If the breath test indicates that the driver has consumed alcohol, the law enforcement officer may require the driver to submit to a chemical test.

    DUI Lawyer Swier Law Firm

    Have You Been Charged With DUI (Driving Under The Influence)In South Dakota?

    If you've been accused and arrested for driving under the influence in South Dakota you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981 to schedule your free consultation.

  • Can I be arrested for DUI after a traffic accident?

    Yes. A law enforcement officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person for a DUI when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has been involved in a traffic accident and that a DUI violation occurred prior to or immediately following the traffic accident.

    DUI Lawyer Swier Law Firm

    Have You Been Charged With DUI (Driving Under The Influence)In South Dakota?

    If you've been accused and arrested for driving under the influence in South Dakota you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981 to schedule your free consultation.