South Dakota Probate | Inheritance Advances in South Dakota
Process Of Probate in South Dakota
The South Dakota probate process serves a vital purpose in validating wills and distributing inheritances when there is no will. When a South Dakota resident dies, the state’s probate courts oversee the distribution of all assets and belongings left behind.
During probate, the court first appoints a representative to be in charge of the estate. The representative collects and itemizes all assets and monetary accounts, pays all outstanding debts using estate funds and validates any existing wills. When the court is satisfied that all other steps have been completed, they authorize the distribution of inheritance funds to the rightful heirs.
How Long Do I Have to File Probate in South Dakota?
South Dakota probate law requires the probate process to begin within three years of the individual’s death. However, certain circumstances may affect this timeline. For example, you may have more time to file for probate if a previous filing was dismissed due to doubts about or inability to confirm the individual’s death.
Delays to Your Inheritance in South Dakota
Probate is a lengthy process that can keep South Dakota residents from accessing their inheritance for months or years. Under South Dakota probate laws, heirs are unable to access the funds they inherit until the process’s conclusion. The average estate in the United States takes a full year and a half to finally distribute the inheritance money to the heirs. Many heirs are surprised and frustrated when they learn that they must wait so long to collect their inheritance.
Can I Avoid Probate in South Dakota?
There are a few ways to avoid probate in South Dakota. For one, probate will not be necessary if the deceased put the estate in a living trust or named beneficiaries before their death. The living trust will automatically transfer to the named beneficiaries. Additionally, any joint assets are exempt from probate and will automatically be transferred to the other owner.
Additional Inheritance Information for South Dakota Residents
IFC is here to help you understand and navigate South Dakota’s complex probate and inheritance laws:
- What happens when a South Dakota resident dies without a will? In lieu of a will, the probate court will appoint a personal representative or executor — usually a surviving spouse or adult child — to lawfully distribute the estate. Some assets, like property, retirement funds and life insurance benefits, will transfer automatically to the named beneficiary or joint owner even if there is no will.
- What do spouses inherit in South Dakota? A spouse will inherit everything unless the deceased had one or more children. Children split the entire estate after the first $100,000, which goes to the spouse.
- Does South Dakota collect inheritance or estate tax? South Dakota does not collect inheritance tax or estate tax. Heirs living in other states but collecting inheritance from a South Dakota resident may be subject to their state’s taxation laws.
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