Sioux Falls, South Dakota Legal Blog

Parenting plans should discuss communication expectations

One of the most important things to remember when you are going through a divorce with children is that you don't have to try to keep them involved in all the decisions you make with your ex. Your children only need to know certain things that directly impact them, but you do have to be open with your ex about what's going on with the kids.

When you are going through the divorce and the period after it, you need to be sure that you and your ex communicate directly with each other. This isn't always going to be easy, but doing this can make the situation less stressful for you and can teach your children a valuable lesson.

Components included in a comprehensive estate plan

Your estate plan is where your loved ones will turn to find out what you want to do with your assets when you pass away. There are several components of an estate plan, but some individuals are surprised to find out that some of them are used before you pass away. Together, all of the following points create a comprehensive estate plan.

The will and trusts work to transfer assets to your loved ones when you pass away. Some trusts provide protections for the assets in them, and all trusts enable your loved ones to keep their inheritance out of public knowledge. The will helps to transfer assets that aren't included in the trust, but you can't include ones that are subjected to a payable on death designation. This designation is often included in documents for bank, investment and retirement accounts.

How does a dynasty trust help?

After a lifetime of hard work, many want to pass on the fruits of their labor to future generations. All the hours logged during their career have likely yielded an impressive sum of money. And brightening the financial future of children and grandchildren is a noble pursuit. But those who have spent much of their life working are aware of the fact that a good chunk of the money they’ve earned has gone to taxes.

When seeking to pass on funds, many opt to use trusts. But even with trusts, taxes strike again, taking allotted portions. So, the pool of funds gets smaller and smaller with each passing generation, as taxes take their toll. Growth is certainly there, it’s just stunted. The dynasty trust aims to change that.

Implementing an employment contract to encourage accountability

Because committed and loyal employees are the heart and soul of all successful businesses in South Dakota, it is critical that business leaders understand which tactics are most effective in recruiting, training and retaining top talent. The retention piece can be uniquely challenging in that employers must consistently provide feedback and encouragement to keep employees motivated. 

One resource that companies can use to enforce the level of commitment they expect from the people that work for them is an employment contract. While many people may misunderstand the purpose of such agreements and think they are only beneficial for companies, they can be equally as important for the security of the workers in that company. According to Bizfluent, companies can include clauses to obligate their employees to keep sensitive information confidential. At the same time, contracts can provide information for employees so they are aware of their rights as a worker. 

Fulfilling your loved one's wishes

Even if your loved one had a detailed estate plan, it is possible that things could go differently when it comes time to execute strategies. South Dakota has a variety of complex regulations when it comes to putting an estate through probate. There is plenty of room for mistakes, confusion and tension from all parties involved who are not accustomed to dealing with this process.

At The Krause Law Firm, P.C., our goal is to resolve or avoid conflicts in the most efficient way possible. To do this, we must decide the course of action that is best for each individual case. Please read on for a discussion of some of the methods we use.

Parental relocation requirements in South Dakota

After your divorce in Sioux Falls becomes final comes that challenge of successfully co-parenting with your now ex-spouse. It may be difficult at first, but over time you, your ex-spouse and your children will likely adjust to the new situation. Yet your own personal life is sure to go on, and with that may come the opportunity (or the need) to relocated. Moving away with your kids can certainly place strain on your co-parenting efforts. For this reason, many in your same situation have come to us here at The Krause Law Firm PC wondering what legal requirements need to be followed in order for the court to endorse such a move. 

Per Section 25-4A-17 of South Dakota's Codified Laws, you must provide notice to both your ex-spouse and the court having jurisdiction over your child custody case at least 45 days prior to any intended relocation. If your move is unexpected and your must relocate sooner than that (e.g. you are transferred by your employer to a new location), then the court may waive that time requirement if you are able to provide proof of the uniqueness of your situation. 

Peaceful resolution reached in Kelsey Grammer's custody dispute

For many in Sioux Falls, the completion of their divorce proceedings marks the end of their associations with their ex-spouses. Yet in reality, those relationships will often continue (albeit in a different form). In fact, a divorced couple may continue to be linked to each other for years if they share children together. That bond not only requires that they continue to associate with each other, but also that they work together in the parenting of their kids. In many cases, co-parenting can be done successfully, yet in others, the bitterness stemming from a divorce can continue to manifest itself through constant child custody and support disputes. 

The case of actor Kelsey Grammer serves as an example of this. Grammer and his ex-wife divorced in 2010, yet the couple has continued to battle in the years since over the parenting of their two children. Their disputes have been bad enough that their kids recognize that they two do not speak to each other. Yet recent events could signal a change in their co-parenting struggles. The couple was recently able to avoid court and amicably resolve the issue of their daughter's private schooling, with the two agreeing to split the cost of her tuition equally while Grammer will cover all remaining school-related expenses himself. 

How can you divide your 401k in your divorce?

As you prepare for the commencement of your divorce proceedings in Sioux Falls, you are likely already taking a mental inventory of the many marital assets that will need to be addressed during the property division portion of your case. Yet if you are like most, then there is a good chance you forgot to include one significant asset: your 401k account. As the contributions made to such an account during your marriage most likely were taken from your income (and any income that you earn while married is a marital asset), the said contributions are also subject to equitable division

So exactly how are you to divide up your 401k with your ex-spouse? Typically, the court hearing your case will issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This order authorizes the company administering a retirement account to make payments to an alternate payee (which, in this case, would be your ex-spouse). They can then roll whatever portion of your contributions they receive into their own retirement account without either you or them being assessed an early withdrawal penalty. With a QDRO in place, your ex-spouse can also technically cash out their portion right now without incurring a penalty, but then they lose out on the potential the funds have of generating income if they are left untouched until retirement. 

What are the duties of a personal representative?

If you are serving as the personal representative of a loved one’s estate, you could have been selected in one of two ways. If your loved one made a legally valid will, he or she may have chosen you to manage his or her final affairs. If there is no will, a court may have appointed you.

Whether your loved one or a court appointed you, serving as a personal representative can be a great honor. However, it can also be time-consuming and involve a lot of work.

Intestate succession in South Carolina

Sioux Falls residents are encouraged to begin the process of planning the dispersal of their estates relatively early in their adult lives. Yet despite the best efforts of estate planning experts, many American adults do not have a will (indeed, information compiled by Gallup shows that only 44 percent actually have such a document). The reasons why so many adults put off estate planning is unknown; the consequences of such inaction, however, are not. This may come as a surprise to some (who may believe that their beneficiaries are allowed to determine the distribution of their assets if no will exists providing such stipulations). In fact, state law is what dictates how intestate estates are dispersed. 

Intestate is the legal term used to describe estates that are not governed by a will. South Dakota’s intestate succession guidelines can be found in Section 29A-2-102 if the state’s Codified Laws. Here, it says that the surviving spouse of one who dies intestate inherits the entirety of the estate if the decedent had no surviving descendants (or, if they did, the surviving descendants are also the descendants of the surviving spouse). If one left behind descendants that were not also the lineal descendants of their surviving spouse, the spouse would then inherit the first $100,000 of the estate. Intestate succession guidelines then dictate that remaining amount be divided equally between the surviving spouse and the descendants. 

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