It appears that South Dakota trust law is even better than I thought. In a response to my previous blog on SD trust law, Tom Simmons, an attorney practicing in Rapid City, SD, explained to me that I missed the latest improvement to SD trusts.
Tom explains that in the administration of a living trust after the grantor’s death, attorney’s often open a probate proceeding purely for the purpose of running the notice to creditors in the newspaper in order to shorten the statue of limitations for claims against an estate from several years to just 4 months.
Simmons thought if the law was changed, this objective could be accomplished without having to open a probate. So, Tom being the proactive innovator that he is, drafted a proposed statute to authorize published notice to creditors without probate.
Last year, the SD Legislature unanimously passed Tom’s measure and it is now law. Estate attorneys can now publish a notice to creditors and shorten the claims period in living trust administrations without having to first file a probate.
Notes Tom, “We may be the only state that does this.” Since South Dakota is the land of firsts, I wouldn’t doubt we are.