Get Answers to Your Highest Priority South Dakota Legal Questions
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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My financial advisor told me I do not need an estate plan if I use beneficiary designations on all of my accounts. Is this true?
This depends highly on your goals and net worth and is almost never the right choice unless you have very few assets (under $50,000, you have no debts, and your goals align with a simple distribution). Without a cohesive estate plan, your family is often left picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of the mess you left behind. Your financial advisor is likely thinking solely about avoiding probate. However, the goal in good estate planning is more than just avoiding probate. Assets with beneficiary designations (outside of your trust) pass to those individuals upon your death without going through the probate process. However, by bypassing your estate, your loved ones may not have the assets or liquidity needed to pay your final expenses. Further, the assets received by your beneficiaries through these designations are subject to creditors and divorce. Using beneficiary designations as a substitute to creating an estate plan almost always results in greater tax and liability exposure for you and your loved ones.
I consider myself pretty intelligent and am savvy on a computer. Can’t I just save some time and complete my estate plan online?
Do it yourself estate plans DO NOT WORK. Period. Would you tell your patient to give themselves a physical? Or to just look at that mole and compare it with pictures online to determine themselves if it is cancerous? There are many different considerations qualified estate planning attorneys make with drafting your documents. It is not a simple “fill in the blank” process.
With the advent of the digital age, DIY wills and trusts are becoming one of the most highly litigated areas of the law. Don’t leave yourself or your loved ones unprotected and subject to expensive litigation. Taking the time now to complete your estate plan will save your loved ones considerable time, expense, and chaos down the road. Plus, it will ensure you leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones.
My attorney recommended I place certain assets in my trust. I don’t feel like I have the time to do this as I have three small children and am busy. What would you recommend?
If you do not take the time to transfer your assets as recommended by your attorney, your trust will not operate as you intend. This may result in your assets going through probate or to individuals in an unprotected manner. It is crucial to take the time to fund your trust. Many attorneys will assist you with this process if needed. Generally, there are additional fees for such services and you may still need to communicate with your financial institutions directly before they will work with your attorney on your behalf.
How much will my South Dakota business lawsuit cost me?
You’ve been served with notice of a lawsuit against your company. Now you are faced with fear of what will come next for your business. One of the biggest questions streaming through your mind is how much you will have to pay to help avoid this lawsuit and how your business will recover from this potentially large financial blow.
It is difficult to anticipate how much a business lawsuit in South Dakota will cost. This is because there are a number of factors that go into the lawsuit that can increase or decrease the price tag. Here are just a few of the variables you can expect to have to pay:
- Payment for expert witnesses. Expert witnesses are widely used to help resolve lawsuits involving major issues. For example, an environmental lawsuit against a business in South Dakota can be very high priced. Once your lawyer locates expert witnesses to defend your company or farm, you may have to pay out significant dollars to get them to testify.
- Lawyer fees. Another fee that you can expect to have to pay is an attorney fee. This fee is necessary to ensure that you get the representation you need to win against your lawsuit in South Dakota.
- Miscellaneous fees. There are a number of miscellaneous fees that you may not realize you will incur at first. Some of these include travel fees, filing fees, postage costs, etc.
As you start preparing for your trial together with your South Dakota business litigation lawyer, let us know of your questions about the cost. We will look at your specific situation and determine what you can expect to pay, so that there are fewer surprises in the long run to your company budget.
In South Dakota, can a public school district employee lose his job if he runs for public office?
No. Under South Dakota law, no employee of a public school can lose his job or job status for becoming a candidate for any public office if it does not entail neglect of duty.
In South Dakota, who has supervision over school libraries?
The secretary of education has supervision over school libraries.
Do South Dakota's public schools have to permit military and National Guard recruiters access to students?
Yes. Any public secondary school accredited by the South Dakota Department of Education, and any public postsecondary school, located in South Dakota, must permit active duty and reserve duty military recruiters or South Dakota National Guard military recruiters reasonable access to school facilities and students, at reasonable times and at reasonable places, for the purposes of providing information about military careers and benefits.
I live in Sioux Falls and have recently returned to work. Can a South Dakota child support order allocate child care expenses?
Yes. Under South Dakota law, a court may enter an order allocating reasonable child care expenses for the child, which are due to employment of either parent, job search of either parent, or the training or education of either parent necessary to obtain a job or enhance earning potential.
In South Dakota, can a student that is expelled or suspended in one school district enroll in another school district before the expulsion or suspension has expired?
No. Under South Dakota law, if a student is under suspension or expulsion in a school district, the student cannot enroll in any school district until the suspension or expulsion has expired.
Under what circumstances does a South Dakota high school athlete need to be removed from participation because of concussion symptoms?
Under South Dakota law, an athlete must be removed from participation in any athletic activity sanctioned by the South Dakota High School Activities Association at the time the athlete either (1) exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion; or (2) is suspected of sustaining a concussion.