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Sample Form - Application for Trust Acquisition of Fee Land 2

Once a fee-to-trust application is approved, landowners are required to purchase title insurance for the property. However, it is a good idea to purchase the title commitment up front, before the application is submitted, to find out details about the title that may not be known, such as encumbrances, liens, rights of way or other unforeseen conditions that could hinder the application. The title commitment is about $500.00 but is a cost the landowner would have to incur anyway if the application is approved. It is better to know what to expect before the application is processed.

If all of the other questions have been answered sufficiently, it is best to leave this blank.

In general, landowners who already hold trust lands have a better chance of having additional lands placed in trust. While this question asks only about lands in which the landowner is sole owner, applicants should list any fractionated interests in land that are held as well.

This question is related to the determination of competency, a federal policy requiring an Indian person to be deemed “incompetent” to manage his or her own affairs in order to have lands placed in trust by the BIA. While this policy is outdated, unjust and offensive, it is still upheld by many BIA officials, especially when considering individual fee-to-trust transfers. As such, it must be taken seriously and answered carefully. Possible responses could include: “I can handle my personal finances, but I don’t know anything about managing land” or “When I pass on, I want my estate to go through just one probate.”

Answering “do not” to question number 14 could jeopardize the fee-to-trust application by implying that the land is merely investment property. If possible, options for personal use and development, such as farming, building a homesite, or developing a business, should be considered and stated as: “I plan on . . .”

Answering “do not” to question number 14 could jeopardize the fee-to-trust application by implying that the land is merely investment property. If possible, options for personal use and development, such as farming, building a homesite, or developing a business, should be considered and stated as: “I plan on . . .”

Some public benefits Indian landowners living on a reservation might receive include: health care through IHS, free lunch programs, General Assistance, WIC, TANF, police, fire, ambulatory care, telephone subsidies and any other service the tribal government provides.

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