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Swier Law Firm FAQ


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  • What Does Stepped-Down Basis Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Stepped-Down Basis Mean In Estate Planning?

    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.

  • What Does Stepped-Up Basis Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Stepped-Up Basis Mean In Estate Planning?

    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.

  • What Does Basis Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Basis Mean In Estate Planning?

    What a person has paid for an asset and sometimes money invested in an asset after purchase (Example: what you paid for your house plus what you paid to update the kitchen). This determines gain/loss for income tax purposes.

  • What Does Assigns Mean In Estate Planning?

    What Does Assigns Mean In Estate Planning?

    Another word for “assignee” and means someone who could possibly have an interest in something in the future.  This could be an interest in real estate, an interest in something subject to an agreement or contract or many other possibilities.  This term is often used in deeds and wills.

  • What Are Assets?

    What Are Considered Assets In Estate Planning?

    Essentially everything you own in any form whether or not they have value.  This includes, but is not limited to: bank accounts, stocks, jewelry, cars, clothes, real estate and even includes digital assets (e-mail, blog, photos etc.).

  • Common Estate Planning Terms. What Does Ancillary Administration Mean?

    What Does Ancillary Administration Mean?

    When probate needs to open in another state, generally because a decedent owned real estate there.

  • In South Dakota, are DUI convictions from other states considered in determining multiple offenses?

    Yes. Any conviction for DUI in another state that took place within the past ten years is generally used to determine if a violation is a second, third, or subsequent offense.

  • In South Dakota, what is the maximum penalty for a first offense DUI conviction?

    • Class 1 misdemeanor
    • 1 year in the county jail, a $2,000 fine, or both
    • Driving privileges must be revoked for at least 30 days

  • What are 3 ways I can create a better South Dakota parenting plan?

    When couples are faced with dividing their children’s time, one of the first questions asked is, “What type of visitation or parenting plan do you recommend for my situation?”

    This is similar to asking someone how they like their steak – the answers can be as varied as your imagination. With more cases being resolved through mediation, it is now more common to see a visitation schedule truly focused on the needs, schedules, and traditions of each individual family.

    Here are 3 tips to consider when designing a workable parenting plan:

    Work Schedules

    Keep in mind both parents’ work schedules. If one parent works late nights or most weekends, using a schedule where visitation periods fall during these times guarantees the child will spend a lot of time with babysitters instead of the parent. Look at periods of time when both the child and the parent are not working or attending school to build in extended visitation periods which maximize the parent-child bonding opportunities.

    School Calendar(s) and Children’s After-School Activities

    Depending on the child's school, the school calendar and after-school activities may dictate the schedule that will work best. The older a child gets and the more involved he or she becomes in school-based activities or sports, the more important it will be to allow spaces in the schedules for these activities - and to allow both parents to be involved.

    Family Holiday Traditions

    Just because the calendar designates a specific “holiday”  doesn't mean that you must include it in your parenting schedule. For instance, if a particular holiday means more to one parent, adjust the schedule to allow that parent to enjoy the whole holiday with the child and find another period of time to give the other parent an extended period to even things out. Both the child and parents win in these situations.  

  • In South Dakota, should my spouse and I share a divorce attorney?

    No. You definitely need to get your own divorce attorney. It is improper for an attorney to represent both the husband and wife in a South Dakota divorce.