NOTICE: The Cherokee Nation website will be offline intermittently on Saturday, Nov. 23, to allow for routine server maintenance.

Real Estate Services

Administration of Estates

The administration of an estate, also known as probating an estate, is a legal process commenced after a person’s death to determine the deceased’s assets, the value of those assets, and the distribution of those assets, according to law.

Restricted property
If the deceased owned restricted or fee property, it must be probated separately in the District Court of Oklahoma in the county where the deceased lived.  The Real Estate Services office of Cherokee Nation can assist with this process.

Trust property
If the deceased owned trust land, the process to convey to successive generations is administered by the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Department of the Interior. The Real Estate Services office of Cherokee Nation can assist with this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my land is in Trust?

The County Clerk where the land is located will have recorded title documentation stating the grantee to be United States of America in Trust for an individual. The conveyance documents contain authority language and the signature of a Bureau of Indian Affairs official.  The Trust land is not taxable under county ad valorem taxation laws.  A determination of trust status requires a search of land records.  You may also call the Real Estate Services office of Cherokee Nation.

Who can receive your Trust property if you die with a Last Will and Testament?

By writing a Will, your land can be transferred in trust to any Indian person, the tribe that has jurisdiction, or any Indian co-owners.  You can also transfer your land in trust to any of your descendants (your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.) even if they are no Indian.  You can also transfer your interests out of trust to anybody.