AIPRAAmerican Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004
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(117.) In 2011, approximately seven years after AIPRA's passage, the National Congress of American Indians told Congress that it still had "not heard of a single instance" where AIPRA's partition sale option for highly fractionated lands had been used, and it suggested the process needed revision because the system "is too cumbersome." The American Indian Probate Reform Act: Empowering Indian Land Owners: Hearing Before the S.
Sledd, Events Leading to the American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004 (AIPRA) 9-10 (May 2005) (unpublished manuscript), files/Events%20Leading%20to%20AIPRA%20%28Sledd%29.pdf (]; see also Shoemaker, Emulsified Property, supra note 8, at 973-74.
[section] 2206(a)(5) (excluding a spouse's inherited life estate without regard to waste from general rule that inherited interests under AIPRA will pass in the same trust status that the decedent held the property in).
In the effort to reduce fractionation in a quick and efficient manner, AIPRA presents three main challenges to the individual, which have profound implications for family relations and thus the social fabric of many modern reservations.
First, the Single Heir Rule under AIPRA represents a step backward in estate law.
(132) Although primogeniture is in conflict with modern American views of inheritance, it is still the law applied to intestate individuals through AIPRA. (133)
(138) Given the high rate of fractionation, especially in the Great Plains and Midwest, (139) coupled with AIPRA's Single Heir Rule, many sons and daughters may receive nothing through intestate succession, even if their parents held a profitable array of trust holdings.
As a complex and lengthy piece of legislation, AIPRA is a formidable hurdle for many individuals.
While current implementation of AIPRA has focused on the provisions that improve the situation for the Indian tribes and the federal government through buyback programs, the individual approach, which was authorized by AIPRA, has been largely ignored.
(168) Thorough and readily accessible information about the ills of fractionation will be of utmost importance, but in the end, AIPRA allows, through testamentary disposition, for land to become fractionated to a greater degree than would be possible through intestate succession.
Also, the estate planning approach may be hindered by the uncertain funding for AIPRA estate planning and education services.
The only major grant given to a non-profit organization as authorized by AIPRA (181) was given to the Indian Land Tenure Foundation in 2006.