Monday, August 8, 2011

Tribal Land, Wills, and Mistakes

I never let my clients sign their papers without me being present. Why? Because the signings is vital to the document being upheld in court. This practice method of mine is underscored in the following case, currently working its way through the court system surrounding tribal land in North Carolina:

  • women dies in Kentucky, leaving land she owned in North Carolina to her children. She had been a member of a Native American Tribe, her children were not, and the land had previously been a part of the tribal land. Under tribal law, only members could own it. Her children were not members. Challenging the will, with only one witness (North Carolina required two) the tribe reclaimed the land.
Law can sometimes boil down to technicalities. Never assume your situation is not complex. It is always wise to have an attorney either craft or review your estate plan.

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