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Probate Regulatory Revisions

Final Rule

To view the final rule, please click here: Final rule; American Indian Probate Regulation

Proposed Rule:  American Indian Probate Regulations

On January 7, 2021, the Department of the Interior published a proposed rule to revise regulations governing probate of property that the United States holds in trust or restricted status for American Indians. 

See Proposed Rule:  American Indian Probate Regulations.  A presentation providing an overview of the proposed rule is available here.

Tribal Consultation Session

Please join only if you are an officially designated member of a federally recognized Tribe: 

 Tuesday, February 9, 2021

2 p.m.–5 p.m. Eastern Time

Call-in number: (800) 369–3356. Passcode: 8182564


Public Session

For anyone for whom the Department holds property in trust or restricted status or for anyone else interested in this rulemaking, as follows:

Thursday, February 11, 2021

2 p.m.–5 p.m. Eastern Time

Call-in number: (888) 790–3548. Passcode: 6643062


Comment Deadline

*UPDATE*  The deadline for submission of comments is being extended from March 8, 2021, to April 29, 2021.  Comments may be submitted through www.regulations.gov or to consultation@bia.gov (for Tribes) or comments@bia.gov (for all others).  

Development of this Proposed Rule

On Thursday, October 31, 2019,  Interior published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register.  The Department is considering potential updates to regulations The Department is seeking Tribal input and public comments on it's ideas for improvements in the regulations in general, and the potential regulatory changes identified in the Federal Register notice. 

Previously in 2016, the Department of the Interior conducted two Tribal consultation sessions with federally recognized Tribes across the country to provide a forum for Tribes to share insights and make recommendations related to the probate of Indian estates. Specifically, three areas have been identified for modification which would have an immediate impact in streamlining the probate process. Additional information on these potential areas is provided in the following PowerPoint: Draft Probate Revisions Presentation.

The consultation sessions were as follows:

  • Tuesday, July 12, 2016: 2:00pm-4:00pm, EST    Call-in Number: 1-800-857-7479, Passcode: 6543434
  • Wednesday, July 13th, 2016: 2:00pm-4:00pm, EST    Call-in Number: 1-800-857-7479, Passcode: 6543434

The Department also hosted a listening session on Monday, June 27th, 2016 in Spokane, Washington, in conjunction with the National Congress of American Indians mid-year conference.  In addition, the comment period for the 2016 consultation sessions closed on August 1, 2016.  The comment period for the ANPRM closed on Monday, December 30, 2019.


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