Attorney Information

The American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004

The Act was passed by Congress October 27, 2004 and became effective June 20, 2006. The American Indian Probate Reform Act (AIPRA) changes the landscape of federal laws governing the descent, distribution and consolidation of federal trust property. The Act removes the application of state intestacy laws and creates a federal probate code. AIPRA contains provisions for voluntary and involuntary land consolidations and sales both inside and outside of probate. The Act expands tribal authority to draft tribal probate codes which may supersede provisions of the Act, and makes will drafting and estate planning for individuals important.

The attached Act (pdf) contains the statutory language and includes technical amendments passed by Congress in 2005 and 2006. On September 24, 2007, Technical Amendments(pdf) introduced by Senators Dorgan and McCain will redefine land, change purchase options at probate and more.

 

The Code of Federal Regulations Implementing AIPRA

The Code of Federal Regulations (pdf) governing AIPRA provide the processes and procedures to implement the Act. The attached CFRs were published for comment on August 8, 2006, comment period expired March 12, 2007. Final publication date is pending.

 

Indian Estate Planning Charts and Forms

 

Charts — The following charts were created by the Institute to illustrate the intestacy rules under AIPRA for federal trust assets

Intestate Rules for Interests Less than 5% (pdf)
Intestate Rules for Interests 5% or greater (pdf)
Intestate Rules for Trust Personalty (pdf)
Estate Planning Options (pdf) – This one page chart provides a brief overview of rules for testamentary and intestate distribution under AIPRA.

Forms — Important Forms for Indian Estate Planning

Release of Information for Federal Trust Land Records (pdf)
Release of Information for Federal Trust Personalty (pdf)
Federal Affidavit to Accompany an Indian Will (pdf)
Example of Client Interview Checklist (pdf)

 

Indian Estate Planning Powerpoint

Currently being updated, please check back soon.

Legal Articles on AIPRA

The Changing Landscape of Indian Estate Planning and Probate (pdf) – A comprehensive overview of the American Indian Probate Reform Act by Douglas Nash and Cecelia Burke. First published in the Seattle Journal for Social Justice 5 Seattle J. Soc. Jus. 121 (2007).

Passing Title to Tribal Lands and the Federal Probate of Native American Estates (pdf) by Douglas R. Nash and Cecelia E. Burke. This article provides a brief historical primer on trust lands and an overview of the American Indian Probate Reform Act’s key provisions for the estate planning attorney. First published as Chapter 14 of the Washington State Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust and Estates Section Mid Year Conference (2006).

Events Leading to the American Indian Probate Reform Act (pdf) A history of federal laws and policies leading to the creation of AIPRA by John C. Sledd, Attorney, Kanji & Katzen, PLLC

Laws and Regulations Relating to Indians and their Lands (pdf) compiled by Oscar H. Lipps, U.S. Indian Services (1930s)

 

Downloadable PDFs

(Right-click the link to save the document to your computer.)

The American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004 (pdf)
Technical Amendment S. 3526 (pdf)
The Code of Federal Regulations (pdf)
Passing Title to Tribal Lands and the Federal Probate of Native American Estates (pdf)
Intestate Rules for Interests Less than 5% (pdf)
Intestate Rules for Interests 5% or greater (pdf)
Intestate Rules for Trust Personalty (pdf)
Estate Planning Options (pdf)
Release of Information for Federal Trust Land Records (pdf)
Release of Information for Federal Trust Personalty (pdf)
Federal Affidavit to Accompany an Indian Will (pdf)
Example of Client Interview Checklist (pdf)
Events Leading to the American Indian Probate Reform Act (pdf)(pdf
Laws and Regulations Relating to Indians and their Lands (pdf)