Justia South Dakota Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Estate Planning
Lester and Harriet Shoup created an inter vivos trust. After Lester and Harriet died, the couple's only children, Gregory and Larry Shoup, filed a motion to terminate the trust. Gregory and Larry argued that the trust had fulfilled its purpose because it only provided for Lester and Harriet during their lives and no trust provision existed directing disposition of the remaining trust assets. Lee and Linda Shoup, Gregory's children, objected, arguing that the trust had not fulfilled its purpose and that two letters found with the original trust document provided instructions on the disposition of trust assets. The circuit court terminated the trust. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court (1) correctly determined that the letters would substantially change the trust if given effect, but that the change was prohibited because the trustees did not consent to the letters in writing; and (2) correctly concluded that the trust had fulfilled its purpose and should be terminated. View "In re Sunray Holdings Trust" on Justia Law

Posted in: Estate Planning
After Mary Lou Fox died, Plaintiff, Mary Lou's daughter and the administratrix of Mary Lou's estate, sued Mary Lou's former husband, Robert Fox. Plaintiff alleged that Mary Lou jointly owned 960 acres of farmland with Robert, that Robert deprived Mary Lou of her ownership interest in the land, and that Plaintiff was thereby deprived of an inheritance from Mary Lou. The circuit court granted summary judgment to Robert, concluding that Mary Lou had no ownership interest in the 960 acres. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that each cause of action brought by Plaintiff failed because Mary Lou had no claim to a right of ownership in the 960 acres and Plaintiff had no authority supporting her claims. View "Niesche v. Wilkinson" on Justia Law