Rapid City Will Lawyers
The last will and testament is the backbone of estate planning. Because it is the most well-known type of document that designates heirs and outlines final wishes, many make the mistake of creating their will by themselves. Although the concept of the will is simple, the creation of the document requires state-specific procedures in order to be legally binding and effective.
At Monument Law, we have decades of experience drafting wills, and we know exactly what it takes to ensure both the government and your beneficiaries respect and honor your final wishes.
Get started by calling our Rapid City will attorneys at (605) 250-2006 today.
What to Consider When Making a Will
As will lawyers, one of our biggest responsibilities is making sure you consider every necessary factor during the will-drafting process. We will help you avoid common pitfalls and account for every asset and beneficiary you have.
Here are a few questions you’ll need to consider when drafting a will:
- Are you 18 or older? If you are a minor when you create your will, the court will invalidate the document—even if you are a legal adult when you die.
- Is your will in written or oral form? Oral wills are not allowed in South Dakota. A will must be in writing. It can be in the testator's handwriting, a holographic will, but specific requirements are required for it to be valid.
- Who do you want to designate as your beneficiaries? One common misconception about inheritance is that state law governs who will receive your assets when you die. The only time the state makes all decisions in this regard is if you die intestate (i.e. without a will).
- Are you leaving a portion of your estate to your spouse or child? In South Dakota, you cannot disinherit your spouse. If you leave them out of your will, they will still receive a portion of your estate through probate. If you plan to leave your children out of your will, you will need to explicitly state this.
- Do you own a business? If so, you may need to create a business succession plan or consider additional estate planning devices. Business owners have quite a few factors to consider when drafting their wills.
- Do you have debt? Generally, creditors’ rights will supersede your beneficiaries’ inheritance rights. If you die before paying off your debt, therefore, the court will likely take the outstanding amount directly out of your estate before distributing the remaining assets to your beneficiaries.
- If you already created a will, how long has it been since you reviewed it? Circumstances can change quickly, and what might have been the best decision 5 years ago may not work today.
These are just a few of the questions we will help you answer when you work with our seasoned will attorneys in Rapid City.
It Is Never Too Early to Plan—Call Today
We cannot control the future, but we do have complete power over our actions today. Our team at Monument Law understands that drafting a will may be a challenging and emotional process. We are ready to provide the objective counsel and empathetic support you deserve.