Indian Estate Planning has become much more important since the American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004. The act made it possible to pass on trust lands to whoever you want to pass them on to – as long as you have a will.
Indian Estate Planning is more than just a will
A will is important, of course. Your will tells the courts and your executor what you want done with your property after you die. But proper Indian estate planning is more than just a will.
A Living Will
The legal term in Arizona is “Advanced Directive for Health Care,” but many people call it a living will. It is a set of very specific instructions on what to do should you become incapacitated and not able to make your feelings known. If you were in a coma, would you want doctors to do everything possible to keep you alive or would you prefer that they withhold treatment if there were no likelihood that you will recover. If you don't let your wishes be known with a living will, various members of your family could have differing ideas on the care you receive and it could lead to unnecessary disputes.
Power of Attorney
Granting a “power of attorney” as part of your Indian estate planning allows someone you trust to make decisions for you if you aren’t capable of making them yourself. The decisions they make are legally binding. You can grant a power of attorney over your financial affairs, for healthcare purposes, and for caring for your minor children.
Of you have non-trust or restricted land, you may consider a Trust. Various types of Trusts provide other ways of passing your non-restricted property to heirs and can be a good choice to include in your Indian estate planning. Trusts are an excellent way to designate what property gets passed to which heir. Trusts also have some tax advantages that make them desirable.
Your one-hour initial consultation is free
Indian Estate Planning has many potential pitfalls. It’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer with specialized knowledge in this area, like Indian Estate Planning Attorney Brian Utsey.
Indian Estate Planning Attorney Brian Utsey will meet you and discuss your case with no fee. After that initial meeting you can decide if he can be of service in your case.