The Basics of Probate

"Probate" is used to describe the legal process by which a deceased person’s affairs are settled and his property distributed to those who are entitled to receive it. This Classroom covers the basic issues involved in probate including the role of a personal representative, the special protections for family members, a review of the intestacy rules, which describe how an estate should be divided when there is no Will and the options to consider when deciding whether "to probate or not to probate." The second section discusses the actual probate process, from filing the probate petition to completing the work as the personal representative.

Special Procedures for Native Estates: Native Estates

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When There the Deceased’s Estate Contains Federally Protected Native Trust Property

There are special procedures involved when a person owning restricted Native property dies. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for determining how the restricted property is to be divided. The BIA has special judges who decide whether the deceased had a Will and whether it is valid or not. When a person owning restricted Native property dies, relatives should contact BIA Realty or the appropriate local BIA subcontractor in order to start the probate process.

When There the Deceased’s Estate contains Alaska Native Claims Settlement (ANCSA) stock

If the deceased owned Native corporation stock pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the corporation is responsible for determining how the shares are to be distributed. Relatives should contact each corporation in order to start that process

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