Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Guardianship and Conversatorship of Nelson

Supreme Court of South Dakota

November 1, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP AND CONVERSATORSHIP OF DEAN A. NELSON, a Protected Person.

          ARGUED OCTOBER 4, 2017

         APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT SULLY COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE JOHN L. BROWN Judge

          MATTHEW P. BOCK JAMES A. POWER of Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith Sioux Falls, South Dakota Attorneys for appellant Elizabeth Nelson.

          ROBERT B. ANDERSON of May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson, LLP Pierre, South Dakota Attorneys for appellee Dean A. Nelson.

          RONALD A. PARSONS, JR. of Johnson Janklow Abdallah Reiter & Parsons LLP Sioux Falls, South Dakota Attorneys for appellee Chet Groseclose.

          MARK A. MORENO of Moreno, Lee & Bachand, P.C. Pierre, South Dakota Attorneys for appellee Georgia K. Hanson.

          MARGO D. NORTHRUP of Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP Pierre, South Dakota Attorneys for appellee Angela L. Nix.

          SEVERSON, JUSTICE

         [¶1.] Elizabeth Nelson appeals a circuit court order approving the redrafting of her husband Dean Nelson's will. The new will eliminates a trust established for Elizabeth's benefit consisting of Elizabeth's lifetime, one-half interest in the residue of Dean's estate. The change in the will was proposed upon the petition of Dean's conservator, Chet Groseclose (Conservator), after Dean was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Elizabeth raises one issue on appeal: whether the circuit court erred in permitting Conservator to adopt the new will eliminating Elizabeth's interest in the residuary estate. We reverse.

         Background

         [¶2.] Dean Nelson owned and operated a successful farming operation near Onida, South Dakota. Dean has four daughters from his first marriage: Georgia Hanson, Deborah Bouchie, Carol Nelson, and Angela Nix. In 1978, Dean married Elizabeth Nelson. The pair lived in Onida, then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where they currently reside.

         [¶3.] On September 30, 2008, Dean and Elizabeth entered into a postnuptial agreement, which replaced a prior prenuptial agreement. In the postnuptial agreement, they agreed to the disposition of Dean's property after his death, and provided that Dean would not allow his durable power of attorney to amend his will. Also in 2008, Dean made a will acknowledging the postnuptial agreement and making other testamentary gifts. The 2008 will provided that if Elizabeth were to survive Dean, one-half of Dean's residuary estate would be held in trust for Elizabeth. Under the trust, Elizabeth was entitled to receive all net income and as much of the principal as the trustees deemed necessary for Elizabeth's health and comfort. Upon her death, the remainder of the trust would pass in accordance with the other half of the residue, which was to be distributed in equal shares to three of Dean's four daughters.

         [¶4.] In September of 2012, Dean drafted a new estate plan including a pourover will and trust agreement. The trust agreement acknowledged the postnuptial agreement and essentially echoed the terms of the 2008 will, except that the one-half of Dean's estate not belonging to Elizabeth would be placed in trust for three of Dean's four daughters. On February 11, 2013, Dean had yet another estate plan drafted. This plan mirrored the 2008 and 2012 estate plans but added Dean's fourth daughter to the trust made up of half of his residuary estate.

         [¶5.] After the 2013 plan was drafted, Dean was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. On April 18, 2013, Conservator was temporarily appointed to oversee Dean's estate. The circuit court made the appointment permanent in September of 2013. Conservator petitioned the circuit court to change Dean's February 11, 2013 estate plan. Among other things, Conservator proposed replacing the 2013 plan with a newly drafted will. The proposed will would omit ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.