In South Dakota, what happens if I die without a will?

Our law firm is often asked, “What happens if I die without a will?” The answer is that you will have made very significant (and likely unwise) estate planning decisions. If you die without a will, South Dakota law dictates who gets your property. These laws are known as the laws of intestate succession.  

In other words, if you die without a will, the State of South Dakota has written a will for you. The State also determines who gets your property, who will manage your estate, and who will serve as guardian of your minor children. Often, the State’s laws in these areas do not reflect what you would have really wanted.