We’ve moved! As of April 1, 2022 our new address is 770 Sheridan Lake Road, Rapid City, South Dakota 57702

Protecting Your Loved Ones

Preserving Your Assets

South Dakota Trusts Attorneys

Over Two Decades of Helping Clients Protect & Distribute Their Assets

While trusts seem reserved only for the wealthy, they are actually very practical tools for people from any background. In essence, a trust is simply an agreement between someone who owns property (called the "trustor") and a person who oversees the property (referred to as the "trustee") until it is passed on to a designated recipient (known as the "beneficiary"). With decades of experience helping clients form and manage trusts, you can count on Aspen Legacy Planning to help you with your estate planning needs. Our trust lawyers are happy to answer any of your questions – do not hesitate to reach out today.

For a no-obligation consultation with our seasoned trust attorneys in South Dakota at Aspen Legacy Planning, call (605) 610-4016 or contact us online.

What Is A Living Trust?

A living trust, sometimes referred to as a revocable trust, is a legally binding document that permits you to allocate your assets into a trust for your advantage throughout your life, and it outlines the distribution of these assets to your chosen beneficiaries upon your death. The person creating the trust is often the trustee, managing their own assets in the trust. If the trustee dies or becomes incapacitated, a successor trustee steps in.


One major advantage of a living trust is that it circumvents probate, which is the legal process of distributing a deceased person's assets. Probate can often be lengthy and costly, so avoiding it can save time and money. Additionally, a living trust ensures privacy, as unlike a will, the details of the trust aren't publicly accessible.

Living Trusts also offer flexibility, allowing you to alter or dissolve the trust at any time during your lifetime, assuming you're mentally competent. This is particularly beneficial if your circumstances or wishes change.


However, there are some downsides to consider. Creating a living can be more complex and expensive upfront than drafting a simple will. Additionally, you must transfer ownership of your property to yourself as the trustee, which can be time-consuming. Also, a living doesn't eliminate the need for a will entirely. For instance, you'll still need a will to appoint guardians for minor children and to address any assets not included in the trust. Finally, while a living trust can help avoid probate, it doesn't shield assets from creditors or estate taxes.

Why Form a Trust?

Trusts can be created for many different purposes. For some, a trust is a way to put money somewhere it can be accessed by their family for generations to come. For others, a trust can be used to pay for medical expenses in advance to reduce their available liquid assets when applying for Medicaid.

Some potential options for structuring a trust include:

  • Revocable living trusts: Also known as an "inter vivos" trust, this arrangement assigns your property to different individuals before you die. It is "living" because you are still alive when you write it and "revocable" because you can edit the documents as your plans change.
  • Stand-alone retirement plan trusts: A document created by a person enrolled in an IRA or other retirement plan. These agreements dictate who will receive your IRA after you pass on.
  • Asset protection trusts: Allows individuals to structure their assets in a way that will help protect them from creditors.
  • Gun trusts: If you possess firearms of sentimental or other value, a gun trust can help you legally distribute your guns as you see fit.

While the process of planning your estate is without a doubt stressful, it is important to approach the endeavor from the perspective of the value you will likely gain. A bit of paperwork now could mean that your loved ones get to honor your legacy without the added headaches of trying to divine your unexpressed will.

At Aspen Legacy Planning, our South Dakota trust lawyers can discuss which trust would fit well with your needs and wishes. Call (605) 610-4016 to start planning a smarter financial future.

The Roots of Our Practice

  • Relationship-Focused Services

    As your attorneys and counselors, we put your interests first - treating you with respect, honesty and dignity.

  • 30 Years of Legal Experience
  • No-Obligation Consultations

    We offer no-obligation in-person, telephone and video-conference consultations for your convenience.

Contact Us Today!

Find the Legal Solution & Strategy That Best Fits Your Needs

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy