Working on your last will and testament would be a prudent step, even if you're not in any immediate danger. This legal instrument would allow the probate court to know your wishes about your estate, children's guardians, and executor. The last will would be your way of providing for your loved ones, even after you pass away. That's why you should get to work and create a South Dakota last will and testament for your estate now.
All the states have varying requirements to make a valid and enforceable last will. If you live in South Dakota, here's what you should follow.
Requirements for a South Dakota Last Will and Testament
- Written will: A South Dakota last will and testament must be in a paper format to be legal. It can't be audio, video, or other digital file forms. South Dakota allows self-written or holographic wills.
- Must be of at least 18 age
- Sound mind and memory: The testator for a South Dakota last will must understand the will procedure, nature of their estate, and beneficiaries. For their last will to be valid, they must have a sound mind and memory.
- Signed by the testator: To make it legally enforceable, you must sign your South Dakota last will and testament before any eligible two witnesses.
- Signed by the two witnesses: You must have at least two eligible witnesses for the will. They need to acknowledge and sign the will before the testator.
Who can be the witnesses for a South Dakota Last Will and Testament?
Your witnesses for a South Dakota last will must follow these conditions:
- South Dakota allows anyone competent to become a witness.
- They should be able to testify about what they saw and the will-making process.
- It's better not to select beneficiaries as witnesses as the will might be easily challenged. However, you can choose beneficiaries as witnesses in South Dakota.
South Dakota rules for a personal representative or an executor
Choosing an executor for your South Dakota last will would be better than leaving it to uncertainty. However, an executor should fulfill these conditions to be eligible for the role:
- Must be at least 18 or above
- Capable of completing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
- South Dakota doesn't restrict people convicted of a felony from being executors.
- South Dakota allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor.
Last will and Testament Notarization in South Dakota
There's no need to notarize your South Dakota last will and testament. However, you could add a self-proving affidavit to the last will to speed up the probate process. Here's how you could do that:
- Choose a notary public to make a self-proving affidavit for the South Dakota last will and testament.
- You and the two eligible witnesses must go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you know you're signing a will.
South Dakota Last Will Revocation
You could follow any of the following methods to revoke your South Dakota last will and testament:
- Destroy your South Dakota last will and testament by tearing, burning, obliterating, and shredding.
- Instructing someone to destroy the last will before you and two witnesses
- Making a new legal will that revokes any part or the entire previous will.
What if you have more than one South Dakota will?
If it's not clear whether your new South Dakota will revoke the old one, the state will follow these rules:
- It'll replace the old will if the new one has varying or contradictory terms to your previous South Dakota will.
- The probate court assumes you wanted to revoke the previous will if the new one disposes of your entire estate.
- If the new will doesn't dispose of the entire estate, it would be treated as a supplement to the old South Dakota will.
South Dakota Last Will Amendment Rules
If you wish to make some minor and simple changes to your South Dakota last will, you can do it through a Codicil. It will allow you to introduce changes to your existing will and avoid revoking it.
However, you must follow the same guidelines to make a legal codicil as for an original will. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to make a new will that revokes the previous one.
South Dakota rules for divorce after making your last will
- South Dakota law revokes any gift you leave to your ex-spouse.
- Revokes any language about the appointment of your ex-spouse as the trustee or executor
- However, the provisions will be followed if you state otherwise in your South Dakota will or remarry your ex.
- These provisions also apply to any children or relatives of your spouse.
What happens if you don't have a will in South Dakota?
Last Will and Testament South Dakota Free Template
You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament South Dakota free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new South Dakota last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:
- Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
- Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
- Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements.
This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution.
Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:
- Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
- Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.
If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable South Dakota last will and testament.