Helping tribal members get title to their land and help in managing their property is the foundation of the Land Management Services Program’s work (formerly BBNA Realty) . The Program’s files detail pending and titled acquisitions totaling more than 127,000 acres. Realty staff can help with trespass cases, gravel sales, partitions, easements and subdivisions.Landowners, including heirs, are urged to have a Will to avoid inheritance disputes among heirs and family members.
BBNA Land Management Services (LMS) staff urges all restricted landowners, including heirs, to have a Will. BBNA LMS has contracted with the Seattle University School of Law and Alaska Legal Services for an estate fellow who will assist restricted landowners with Wills, Advance Health Care Directives and Power of Attorney Forms. If a landowner needs assistance with a Will, Advance Health Care Directives, or Power of Attorney Forms, they are requested to contact BBNA LMS at (907) 842-5257 or toll-free 1-800-478-5257.
Gift deeds, sales, Revocable Use Permits, leases, easements, trespasses, partitions, land exchanges, gravel and sand permits, and subdivision reviews are a few transactions with which Realty routinely assists. Revocable Use Permits, leases and gravel permits are effective options for generating income from Native allotments or townsites without selling the land. Land partitions are sometimes used if heirs wish to subdivide inherited property so that each can receive a deed (title) to his or her part of the property. Thus individual heirs can use their portion for their own purposes without having to have the consent of the other heirs. Without a partition it can sometimes be difficult to manage land owned by several heirs, since all must agree on how the property is to be used.
Losing a loved one is not easy and a probate proceeding can be a lengthy process. In order for BBNA’s Probate Services (managed under Land Management Services) to complete the probate process for your deceased loved one(s) who may have interest in restricted native land(s), we are required to submit necessary documents attached to the final probate package to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior in order to transfer their interest. It is the responsibility of the heirs and beneficiaries to provide us with those documents.
What is Probate? The Division of Probate and Estate Services works to conserve the trust estate of a deceased individual Alaskan Native, to assist the Office of Hearings and Appeals with the probate of their trust assets, to pay claims, and to timely distribute the trust estate to the determined heirs/beneficiaries.
Probate is the legal process by which applicable tribal law, state law, or Federal law that affects the distribution of a decedent’s estate holding interest in restricted native land(s) which is applied to (1) determine heirs; (2) approve wills and devisees; and (3) transfer any funds held in trust by the Secretary of Interior for a decedent to the heirs, devisees, or other persons or entities entitled by law.
Please remember, if you do own interest in native restricted land, we suggest and urge you to have a will prepared to avoid inheritance disputes among heirs and family members. You may contact Cameron Means, Alaska Legal Services Corporation for assistance at (907) 842-1452 (extension 2) or (907) 843-1857. You may also contact The Alaska Legal Services Corporation Statewide Intake for preparing a will at 1-888-478-2572.
BBNA’s Probate and Estate Services requires your assistance in processing your loved ones probate for distribution of their interest in restricted native land(s). Please contact Probate Services at (907) 842-5257, Extension 6234 or Extension 6247 for further information or assistance.