Passing Indian lands to future generations is a challenge given the fractionation that has occurred since the allotment period. Fractionation means that tribal members may inherit “undivided interests” in tracts of land—interests that many times are shared with a hundred or more other Indians who may or may not be living on that reservation.
In many families it’s the “mothers and grandmothers” who take on the task of attending educational sessions to learn about the American Indian Probate Reform Act that was passed with the goal of reducing fractionation.
During this session PowerPoint slides and the packet of information that has been developed to help reservation land owners on the Blackfeet, Fort Hall, and Fort Belknap reservations make informed risk management decisions about estate planning under the American Indian Probate Reform Act (AIPRA). While the materials were targeted for these specific reservations, the content is applicable to reservations across the United States. The goal of the 14 fact sheets in the packet is provide women (and men) who own undivided interests with the information they need to avoid further fractionation of agriculture land that is so important to their livestock and grain operations. Topics include: the consequences of dying without a written will under AIPRA and the benefits of utilizing estate planning risk management tools including written wills, appropriate titling of their fee status lands, and the utilization of gifting, and life estates.
|2008 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference