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Trust Helps SD Farmer Fund Retirement

Trust Helps SD Farmer Fund Retirement

If you live in South Dakota, don't be surprised if you see Dennis and Dorothy Bietz exploring your town. One of the things on Dennis' retirement bucket list is visiting every town in South Dakota.

"That's something I read in South Dakota Magazine," Dennis said. "There are many things in South Dakota we're not aware of."

The ability to travel the state—and play more golf— was made available when Dennis and Dorothy funded their retirement from farming by establishing a charitable remainder trust, or rawhide trust, with the help of the SDSU Foundation.

The trust will help fund the Bietzes' retirement before ultimately being donated to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

The creation of the trust started with Dennis and his quest to retire from farming without making a significant investment in federal taxes.

"When you're trying to retire from farming, it's difficult," said Dennis, who bought the farm near Olivet from his grandparents in the mid-1940s. "It causes tax consequences."

Dennis wanted to fund his retirement, avoid tax consequences, and help favorite causes like SDSU. To do that, he gifted grain and farm equipment to a rawhide trust.

Dennis had read about charitable trusts in farm magazines and had attended a church seminar on the topic. With retirement looming and favorable prices on grain, Dennis was ready to act, but the original organization that was handling his trust was bogged down in red tape.

That's when Dennis turned to the SDSU Foundation's Office of Gift Planning. With the Foundation's team available to develop a plan that worked best for him, Dennis learned about the advantage of donating tangible personal property — grain, livestock, farm equipment — to a charitable remainder trust. When that property is sold, the proceeds are invested within the trust and bypass US tax collectors.

Dennis was also looking for speed. The other organization had been working on his trust for a year. He said the SDSU Foundation got it done in a week.

"Within a week, the trust was set up," said Dennis, who was pleased that he could use his own attorney during the process. "The timeliness was great. It was quick and easy to do."

The Bietz trust will pay an income to Dennis and Dorothy throughout their lives and the remainder will be split between SDSU and their church.

Editor's Note: Dorothy Bietz passed away in February 2021. SDSU is grateful for Dennis and Dorothy's generosity to SDSU through their charitable trust. Dorothy's legacy of giving will be memorialized through the SDSU Sylvan Circle Legacy Society.

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Membership in the Sylvan Circle is available to those individuals who have arranged a non-contingent gift to go directly to the SDSU Foundation for future support of South Dakota State University in their estate and financial plans.

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