U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Dec 08, 2019

§ 4.201 - Definitions.

Administrative law judge (ALJ) means an administrative law judge with OHA appointed under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 3105.

Agency means:

(1) The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) agency office, or any other designated office in BIA, having jurisdiction over trust or restricted land and trust personalty; and

(2) Any office of a tribe that has entered into a contract or compact to fulfill the probate function under 25 U.S.C. 450f or 458cc.

BIA means the Bureau of Indian Affairs within the Department of the Interior.

Board means the Interior Board of Indian Appeals within OHA.

Day means a calendar day.

Decedent means a person who is deceased.

Decision or order (or decision and order) means:

(1) A written document issued by a judge making determinations as to heirs, wills, devisees, and the claims of creditors, and ordering distribution of trust or restricted land or trust personalty;

(2) The decision issued by an attorney decision maker in a summary probate proceeding; or

(3) A decision issued by a judge finding that the evidence is insufficient to determine that a person is deceased by reason of unexplained absence.

Devise means a gift of property by will. Also, to give property by will.

Devisee means a person or entity that receives property under a will.

Estate means the trust or restricted land and trust personalty owned by the decedent at the time of death.

Formal probate proceeding means a proceeding, conducted by a judge, in which evidence is obtained through the testimony of witnesses and the receipt of relevant documents.

Heir means any individual or entity eligible to receive property from a decedent in an intestate proceeding.

Individual Indian Money (IIM) account means an interest-bearing account for trust funds held by the Secretary that belong to a person who has an interest in trust assets. These accounts are under the control and management of the Secretary.

Indian probate judge (IPJ) means an attorney with OHA, other than an ALJ, to whom the Secretary has delegated the authority to hear and decide Indian probate cases.

Interested party means any of the following:

(1) Any potential or actual heir;

(2) Any devisee under a will;

(3) Any person or entity asserting a claim against a decedent's estate;

(4) Any tribe having a statutory option to purchase the trust or restricted property interest of a decedent; or

(5) Any co-owner exercising a purchase option.

Intestate means that the decedent died without a valid will as determined in the probate proceeding.

Judge, except as used in the term “administrative judge,” means an ALJ or IPJ.

LTRO means the Land Titles and Records Office within BIA.

Probate means the legal process by which applicable tribal, Federal, or State law that affects the distribution of a decedent's estate is applied in order to:

(1) Determine the heirs;

(2) Determine the validity of wills and determine devisees;

(3) Determine whether claims against the estate will be paid from trust personalty; and

(4) Order the transfer of any trust or restricted land or trust personalty to the heirs, devisees, or other persons or entities entitled by law to receive them.

Restricted property means real property, the title to which is held by an Indian but which cannot be alienated or encumbered without the Secretary's consent. For the purposes of probate proceedings, restricted property is treated as if it were trust property. Except as the law may provide otherwise, the term “restricted property” as used in this part does not include the restricted lands of the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma or the Osage Nation.

Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior or an authorized representative.

Trust personalty means all tangible personal property, funds, and securities of any kind that are held in trust in an IIM account or otherwise supervised by the Secretary.

Trust property means real or personal property, or an interest therein, the title to which is held in trust by the United States for the benefit of an individual Indian or tribe.

Will means a written testamentary document that was executed by the decedent and attested to by two disinterested adult witnesses, and that states who will receive the decedent's trust or restricted property.

[73 FR 67287, Nov. 13, 2008]