Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Do you need a South Dakota Trust?

TrusttileCreating a trust in South Dakota has brought quiet the buzz in the estate planning community. The initial appeal for creating a trust in South Dakota is the fact that the trust can last indefinitely without estate tax consequences. Additionally, there is income tax savings. So when is a South Dakota trust a good option? Matthew Donovan, a partner in the Snell & Wilmer's Private Client Services group, lists the following instances in which a South Dakota Trust should be considered: 

  • When families can put money in trust and allow it to grow without making distributions for a long time. 
  • When the beneficiaries live in states that will not tax trust distributions.    
  • When families live in states, like California, which limit the duration of trusts to about 120 years. 
  • When families live in states like Massachusetts that have a state estate tax on estates over one million dollars. 

See Matthew K. Donovan, Does Everyone Need a South Dakota Trust?, Lexology, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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