Probate and Estate Services:
(605) 226-7665

The Division of Probate and Estate Services works to conserve the trust estate of a deceased individual Indian, 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.

As an integral part of the trust management team, the Probate program has an inherent and legal trust and fiduciary obligation and responsibility to protect the trust and/or restricted lands, trust assets, resources, and treaty rights of Indian trust landowners and the Tribes it serves. It also has the obligatory responsibility to carry out the mandates of Federal Law with respect to American Indians and federally-recognized Tribes and is supportive and committed to Indian self-determination. The Probate Program also provides support to ensure accurate payments to beneficiaries and correct records for trust ownership. The Probate Program is actively engaged in the implementation of the American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004. The Probate Program is responsible for preparation of probate cases for submission to the Office of Hearings & Appeals for determination of legal heirs or devisees and subsequent distribution of the estate.

The Probate program has a commitment to support the mission, goals, objectives, and initiatives of the United States Federal Government. It also holds itself to a high level of integrity and standards in performing and carrying out its duties and functions in order to provide quality services to its beneficiaries, the Indian trust landowners, and Tribes, as well as to other Federal Government entities it assists and serves. The Probate program is the hub of all real estate services to Indian trust landowners and Tribes, since heirship of trust and/or restricted land and subsequent transactions begin with Probates.