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It takes a team to build solid estate plans

Rex-Vigoren-headshotWith land values rising in many parts of western South Dakota, eastern Wyoming and western North Dakota, longtime ranchers and farmers can find themselves in an all-too-familiar situation when they decide to retire. They are asset rich, but when it comes to cash —  well, not quite so rich. Sometimes ranchers have to sell their land, lease their land or mortgage their land just to retire comfortably.

Rex Vigoren, a partner and estate planner with Ketel Thorstenson LLP, puts it bluntly:  “You can’t eat dirt.”

Other landowners, especially in the oil-rich Williston Basin, face a much different challenge: oil and gas royalties are bringing in plenty of cash — but they need a way to best manage that money in the long term. That revenue stream might not last forever, Vigoren said.

In either case, a well-developed estate plan is vital, Vigoren said. Because of the complexities of financial planning, legal considerations, tax planning and succession planning, he recommends a team approach. Vigoren is based in Spearfish. KTLLP also has offices in Rapid City, Custer and Williston, N.D. The company has the geographic reach and the estate-planning expertise to put together and coordinate the right team of experts to assess each client’s particular needs and put together a solid estate plan.

Often, someone will have an attorney, a tax accountant and an investment advisor, but the experts are not communicating with each other. As a team, he said, “they can each do what they do best.”

Estate planning can be a tough, emotional subject for some people. “Nobody wants to deal with their own mortality,” he said. Sometimes, there are longstanding family dynamics that the client is reluctant to confront. But with a team of coordinated experts and a well-conceived estate plan, many of those issues can be dealt with professionally and effectively.

Ketel Thorstenson, LLP

Ketel Thorstenson, LLP

Ketel Thorstenson, LLP, has over 55 CPA’s on staff and has been serving clients across the region since 1936. With offices in Rapid City, Spearfish, Custer, SD, and Gillette, WY, the firm offers a variety of services including tax planning and return preparation, audit services, QuickBooks, bookkeeping, payroll, business valuation and estate planning.
Ketel Thorstenson, LLP

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