Accessing a probate order
Upon the death of an individual who owned trust assets, family members, tribes, or any interested party can contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to initiate a probate hearing and receive a probate order for the distribution of assets. This service is essential for upholding the trust responsibilities of the Department of the Interior, and BIA’s work to ensure that probate cases are accurately and timely prepared and submitted contributes to maintaining current and accurate ownership records for trust assets.
Receiving trust assets
Once a probate order is issued, the distribution of assets allows heirs to benefit from their new holdings. The accurate and timely distribution of assets through probate orders ensures that new owners can maintain ownership rights to the land, enabling heirs to make informed decisions about the land in which they hold an interest. BIA works to ensure that assets are effectively distributed to identified heirs, transferring what is rightfully theirs and providing some sense of closure for the passing of a loved one.