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Bush puts signature to probate reform legislation

President Bush signed the American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004 into law on Wednesday.

S.1721 seeks to stem the growing fractionation of Indian lands by establishing a uniform probate code for all of Indian Country. Currently, probates are decided by state law.

The bill encourages the writing of wills and allows landowners more flexibility to designate who will inherit their property. Lineal descendants who may or may not qualify for tribal membership can now be included.

Tribal leaders and Interior Department officials praised the bill, saying it is one step in bringing the problem under control.

Get the Bill:

Relevant Links:
Indian Land Tenure Foundation -
Indian Land Working Group -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -

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