South Dakota Beats Delaware for Best U.S. Legal Climate

According to an annual survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), South Dakota was deemed the best legal climate for business. Delaware, having held the top spot for several years fell to 11th in this year’s survey. The rankings are based on questions about impartiality and competence of judges, quality of appellate review, and treatment of class action lawsuits, among other things. Lisa Rickard, President of the ILR, said in an interview that “Delaware had been resting on its reputation while other states adopted changes and passed it by.” Click here to view the full survey.

The same appears to be true relative to the trust industry, as Delaware has been surpassed as the best U.S. trust jurisdiction by several states in recent surveys, particularly by South Dakota. An objective state-by-state comparison chart of modern trust laws such as privacy, dynasty trust provisions, and decanting shows that South Dakota is clearly the superior trust jurisdiction. Additionally, in the January 2017 issue of Trusts & Estates Magazine, authors Mark Merric and Daniel G. Worthington closely and objectively examine domestic asset protection trust statutes and concluded that South Dakota is a top tier domestic asset protection trust jurisdiction, while Delaware is second tier. Click here for the full article. While Delaware has historically been considered one of the best states for business climate and trust situs, other more proactive and progressive states have surpassed it in both areas, again accentuating the vital importance of proper jurisdiction for both businesses and wealthy families in need of sophisticated planning solutions.

For more information about the South Dakota advantage, please contact Bridgeford Trust via our contact page.