Ute Mountain Ute offers Free Tribal Wills Clinic

Ute Mountain Ute, Towaoc, Colo., March 23-26

To make an appointment call the Univ. of Denver Wills Lab 303-871-6790

The Tribal Wills Clinic is a group of volunteers including law students and licensed attorneys, who donate their time to help Tribal Members write wills. Celebrate a well-lived life by making sure that your wishes are carried out by the next generation. To make sure that your wishes are respected after you pass, please consider drafting a will, either through our program or with a local attorney.

Why Wills?

  • Federal law includes provisions that say how Indian Trust Lands pass after a Tribal Member passes on.
  • Over time, parcels may have been split into hundreds of small shares as Indian Trust Land passed from generation to generation. This process is called “fractionation.”
  • A federal law, A.I.P.R.A., is now attempting to decrease fractionation by providing that most Indian Trust Land will go only to the one oldest descendant – unless the owner writes a will.
  • To make sure that your Trust Land, and other important items of property go to the people you want to have that property, you should write a will.

What does it cost?

  • Our services are entirely free.
  • At a law firm in Denver, the cost for a will would be about $2,500 and the process would take about two weeks.

How long does the process take?

  • About two hours on two different days.
  • On the first day you will talk with a law student about what you would like to have included in your documents. You will have plenty of time to ask questions.
  • That night the law student will write up all of the documents, and have them checked by a licensed attorney.
  • On a second day, when the documents are ready, you will come back for the signing ceremony, which will take at least an hour, as the law student goes over everything to be sure that it is right.

Things to think about for a Will

  • Names of Friends and Family who will be included in the Will – To save time at the interview, write down the names of the friends and family you want to mention in the will. Include the birthdate, address, cellphone number, enrollment or census number for each person, if you know it.
  • Special Gifts – What is important for specific family members to have?
  • Personal Representative – Who should take charge to make sure your wishes are carried out after you pass on?
  • Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common – If you want to give a piece of land to be owned by several people at the same time, you will need to decide whether you want them to own the property as Joint Tenants or as Tenants in Common. Joint Tenants means that the last person surviving will own all of the land. Tenants in Common means that as each person passes on, that person’s share goes into his or her estate. The law student will explain more about this.

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