1. What is the American Indian Probate Reform Act (AIPRA)?(pdf)
(Guide to understand the effect of the AIPRA for those with or without a Will)
This guide provides information on the American Indian Probate Reform Act (also known as “AIPRA”) and how that law affects Indian trust lands (or allotments). While this guide does not focus specifically on Estate Planning or Wills, it does provide important information for people who own trust lands (allottees) about Estate Planning for their property. For information on what happens when an Indian person passes away, please see our “Probate Process for Native Americans” handout.
2. Respecting Your Wishes: Estate Planning for California Native Americans (pdf)
(This guide is designed to help you understand the basics of estate planning)
This guide is designed to help you understand the basics of estate planning but it is not meant as a comprehensive guide. When reading this guide for the first time, please read the guide from the beginning to end in order to best understand the information. It is important to note that if you are specifically looking for information on Indian Wills or the American Indian Probate Reform Act (AIPRA) then see our handout entitled, “What is the AIPRA?”
3. Probate Process for Native Americans (pdf)
(Basic guide to understanding the federal and state probate process for Indians)
This guide answers some of the most frequently asked questions about probate that you may have after an Indian loved one passes away. This guide does not focus upon Estate Planning or Wills. If you have questions regarding Indian Wills, please see our handout entitled, “What is the AIPRA?” This guide focuses on situations where the person who passed away had land in his or her name. Specifically the guide examines the situation where a person died who had interest in “trust” land (on a reservation or public domain allotment). This guide primarily discusses probates handled through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Hearings and Appeals. It does not focus upon the state court system. Probate is a complicated area of law. This guide is only an introduction to the probate process.