FROM SOUTH DAKOTA: All about the Mount Rushmore state

Natural beauty that extends beyond the numbers

Photos by Tom Dempster

South Dakota is a paradox – a place of unparalleled beauty, home to some of nature’s most extraordinary wonders. It feels wild, untouched by the modern world. Yet at the same time, South Dakota is financially savvy, cutting edge and very discreet – offering the most attractive place to establish a trust for your high net worth clients.

This breathtaking photo essay captures the magnificence of South Dakota, along with some up-to-minute facts about trust legislation.

The 160-foot clock tower of the original Minnehaha County Court House keeps watch over downtown Sioux Falls and nature’s stunning landscape beyond. Built in 1890 of native quartzite, residents objected when county commissioners wanted to save money and build with less expensive sandstone.
With annual rainfalls of 25 inches, the tallgrass prairie welcomes white-tailed deer, cottontail and jackrabbits, red fox, eastern meadowlark, red-tailed hawks and ring-necked pheasant.
Houdek soil, perfect for cropland and rangeland, is formed from weathering glacial till and decomposing prairie grasses. The soil supports small grains, corn, sunflowers, alfalfa and soybeans.
Early morning fog gives the trees a ghost-like presence, appropriate for the difficulties they cause golfers at Willow Run Golf Course in Sioux Falls, SD.
Winter comes to the Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota as a herd of buffalo stampede in the park’s 242,756 acres.
The sky is an ever-changing panorama to South Dakota landscapes – with wind that sometimes feels ceaseless, driving prairie settlers mad. Here, an early morning sky promises a sweet day.


  • No corporate income tax, dividends and interest tax or city or local tax
  • Trusts with an unlimited duration, allowing for continued creditor and ex-spouse protection for beneficiaries in perpetuity
  • No state income tax or capital gains tax
  • No judicial foreclosure and creditor attachment on beneficial interests in trusts
  • Lowest insurance premium tax of any state – 8 basis points – plus other very favorable insurance legislation
  • No state personal property tax, state ad valorem tax or gift or inheritance tax

Tom Dempster is a director at IFAM Capital. He is also a published author and host of the award-winning documentary, “Dakota Heroes.” His photography is displayed in museums, institutions and private collections.