Jodi Rave: Interior's unfair probate deadline
"Interior Department officials recently sent a letter to my family members announcing they planned to remove the mineral rights from my mother's estate, property on the Fort Berthold Reservation held in trust by the department for my brothers, sisters and me.

They gave us 60 days to object to the changes. The notice to remove “improperly included property” arrived after an oil lease had been signed and a well site had been staked on the land - where the Fort Berthold Reservation and the entire region are in the throes of an oil boom.

My sister called to tell me about the letter, since she was the only person who received a copy from a probate judge in the Office of Hearing Appeals in Billings. With a stroke of pure luck, I was going to be at Fort Berthold the next day. It would give me time to check into the matter at the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency office.

It turned out, I needed all 60 days.

Now, though, the Interior Department plans to shorten probate-related deadlines to even quicker 30- and 15-day time frames. That includes review periods for improperly included property, appraisals, rehearing petitions, rehearing decisions, purchase options and summary probate decisions."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Shortening probate-related deadlines an unfair proposition (The Missoulian 10/3)

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