Federal Indian Probates and Estate Administration

This class will include pending legislation before congress and how it will impact the probate process.  It will also include recent legislation, including the ILCA amendments.
INTRODUCTION

  • Announcements/Schedule
  • Introductions
COURSE OBJECTIVE: To enhance the ability of Federal and tribal employees to administer the trust/restricted estates of members of federally-acknowledged Indian Tribes.
Background
Individually-Owned Indian Lands (Trust/Restricted).
General Allotment Act
  • 2. Other Authorities
  • 2. General Probate Authority
Statutory: Act of June 25, 1910 (25 U.S.C. 37)
Regulatory: 43 CFR Subpart D (4.200-4.357)
Role of the BIA
1. Organization
  • 2. Definition of Estate Administration
  • 3. Delegation of Authority
  • 4. Who works for whom
  • 4. Role of the OHA
  • 1. Organization
  • 2. Probate (Definition)
  • 3. Role of the Land Titles and Records Office
2. Definitions
  • 1. Family/Heirship
  • 2. Testate/Intestate. Testator/Testatrix
  • 3. Scrivener/Notary/Acknowledgements
  • 4. Tenancy in Common/Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship.
  • 5. Life Estate (Life Tenant)/Remainder (Remainderman)
  • 6. Basic Principles.
3. Procedures (43 CFR Subpart D; 54 BIAM, Supplement 8) Statute - Regulations - Manual
  • 1. Notice of Death
  • 1. Establishing That Death Has Occurred
  • (1) When
  • (2) Where (Residence/Domicile)
  • (3) The Death Certificate
  • 2. Identifying the Decedent
  • 3. Notifying Interested Parties (Who Are They?)
  • 2. Data Collection: Form OHA-7 "Data for Heirship Finding and Family History" (Data categories underlined below)
  • 1. The Family
  • (1) Sources
  • (2) Methods
  • (3) Tribal Affiliation of Probable Heirs
  • (4) Social Security Numbers
  • (5) Current addresses
  • (6) Considerations
  • (7) Database (Computer Software)
  • 2. Nationality or Citizenship and Indian Status Affecting Character of Land Title
  • 3. Real Property
  • (1) Trust/Restricted Fee vs Fee Simple
  • (2) Simple Land Descriptions: Aliquot Part
  • (3) The ITI Report (Individual Tribal Interest)
  • (4) Reading the BIAINV or Preparing Inventory
  • (5) Value Estimates and Appraisals
  • (6) Escheatable Interests
  • (7) Encumbrances
  • (8) ILCA Considerations
  • 4. Personal Property
  • (1) Trust Funds (IIM)
  • (2) Inheritance Laws: Real vs. Personal Property
  • (3) Intestate: Follows What Law?
  • 5. Wills and Codicils
  • (1) Witnesses
  • (2) Beneficiaries and Their Tribal Affiliations
  • (3) The Scrivener
  • (4) Scrivener's Initial Interview Checklist
  • (5) Scrivener's Notes
  • 6. Creditors and Claims
  • (1) "Affidavit in Support of Claim"
  • 7. Conflicts in Data ("Best Evidence Rule")
  • 8. "Check List for Data Sheet and Property Inventory"
  • 3. Attending a Probate Hearing
  • 1. Your role: JUST THE FACTS!
  • 2. Opportunity for Data Collection
  • 3. Timeliness of Evidence
  • 4. Requests for Rehearing - 43 CFR 4.304
  • 5. Tribal Codes and Individual ID Numbers
  • 6. Payment of Claims & Closing Estate (Distribution of the Estate Account)
  • 1. Specific Devise
  • 2. Recording/Posting
  • (1) Role of Land Titles and Records Office
  • (2) Historic and Present Role of BIA Agency
  • 3. Dealing with Uncertainties
  • 7. Appeals to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA)
  • 1. Scope of Appeals
  • (1) Appeal from an Order of the ALJ on a Petition for Rehearing.
  • (2) Petition for Reopening
  • (3) Appeal from a Decision of the ALJ Regarding Tribal Purchase of Interests
  • in Deceased Indians Trust Estate.
  • 2. BIA Always Considered Interested Party - 43 CFR 4.311©
  • 3. IBIA May Also Review Case Involving "Manifest Injustice or Error." - 43 CFR 4.318
    4. Published IBIA Decision
  • 8. Omitted Property (Administrative Modifications) - 43 CFR 4.272; 25 CFR
  • 150.7 (b)(2)
  • 9. Improperly Included Property (Judicial Modifications) - 43 CFR 4.273; 25 CFR 150.7(b)(2)
  • 10. Administrative Corrections - 25 CFR 150.7(b)(3)
4. Special Considerations and Concerns
  • 1. Establishing Priorities
  • 2. Finding Missing Persons
  • 1. Problems
  • 2. Sources
  • 3. Methods
  • 4. The Private Investigator
  • 3. Presumption of Death
  • 4. Special Tribal Options to Purchase
  • 5. Renunciation of Interest Options (By Non-Indians, etc).
  • 1. All or Specific Property
  • 2. All or Portion of Future Income
  • 3. Surface vs. Sub-surface
  • 6. The Compromise Settlement
  • 7. Summary Distributions
  • 8. Knowledge of Inheritance Laws
  • 1. Federal Law
  • (1) General (25 U.S.C.A. 371, 464, etc.)
  • (2) Special, by Tribe
  • 2. State Law (Personalty; Realty)
  • (1) "Half-Blood Realtives"
  • 3. Tribal Law (Indian-Custom Marriages, Divorces, etc.)
  • 9. "Agency Record of Probate Status"
  • 10. Leaving a Paper Trail
  • 11. Powers of Attorney
  • 12. Freedom of Information Act (43 CFR 2.11-2.22) and Privacy Act (43 CFR 2.45-2.79)13. File Dispositon Schedule
  • 1. LTRO Probate File (Official)
  • 2. BIA Agency Probate File (Reference)
  • 14. The BIA "Probate Backlog"
  • 1. Methods of Approach
  • 2. Accountability
  • 15. Workload Analysis