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South Dakota Asset Protection Laws

Filed under Asset Protection Strategies. Fact checked on April 22, 2012.

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These assets are exempted from a state court or bankruptcy proceeding in South Dakota.

Homestead: Real property, including mobile home larger than 240 square feet at its base and registered in state at least 6 months before filing for bankruptcy, to unlimited value; property cannot exceed 1 acre in town or 160 acres elsewhere. Sale proceeds up to $30,000 (or 170,000 if the debtor is over the age of 70, or an unmarried widow or widower) exempt for 1 year after sale. Can't include gold or silver mill smelter or mine. Spouse or children of deceased owner may claim homestead exemption. May file homestead declaration.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: Funds exempt for public employees and city employees. Maximum of $250,000 for all plans. IRA exemptions for conventional, SEP and SIMPLE plans, subject to above aggregate limit.

Insurance: Annuity contract proceeds to $250 per month. Endowments and life insurance policy, proceeds or cash value to $20,000. Life insurance proceeds held pursuant to agreement by insurer, if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary's creditors. Life insurance proceeds to $12,000 if beneficiary is a surviving spouse or child. Fraternal society benefits. Health benefits to $20,000.

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property.

Personal Property: Bible. Books up to $200. Pictures. Burial plots. Church pew. Food and fuel to last 1 year. Clothing. Head of family may claim up to $6,000 of any personal property or books and musical instruments up to $200, 2 cows, 5 swine, 25 sheep with lambs under 6 months, wool, cloth or yarn of sheep, food for all to last 1 year, farming machinery, utensils, tackle for teams, harrow, 2 plows, sleigh, wagon up to $1,250 total, furniture, including bedsteads and bedding up to $200, library and tools of professional up to $300, tools of mechanic and stock in trade up to $200. Non-head of family may claim up to $4,000 of any personal property.

Tools of Trade: None.

Wages: Earned wages owed 60 days before filing bankruptcy, needed for support of family. Wages of prisoners in work program.

Public Benefits: Workers' compensation. Unemployment benefits. AFDC.

Wild Card: None.

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