Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Code
[Includes amendments and additions dated through 2004]
(a) The Tribal Court shall have jurisdiction over the estate of all enrolled tribal members and their heirs with respect to property, real and personal, which is located on or within the reservation or within the jurisdiction of the tribal court.
§16-1-2 Small Estates
(a) Any enrolled tribal member who dies intestate, and has property, real and/or personal within the jurisdiction of the tribal court which does not exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) in value shall have said property distributed as follows:
(1) If there be a surviving spouse, the entire estate to the surviving spouse.
(2) If there be no surviving spouse, the entire estate to the children of the deceased equally, share and share alike:
(3) If there be no surviving spouse and no surviving children, then said estate shall be distributed to the scheme of inheritance as set out hereinafter in the estate code.
§16-1-3 Interstate Estates - Spouse's Share
(a) The intestate share of the surviving spouse is as follows:
(1) If there is no surviving child or parent of the deceased, the entire estate;
(2) If there are no surviving children, but the deceased is survived by a parent or parents, the first Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) in value, plus one-half (1/2) of the balance of the intestate estate;
(3) If there are surviving children all of whom are children of the surviving spouse the first Twenty Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) in value, plus one-half (1/2) of the balance of the intestate estate;
(4) If there are surviving children one or more of whom are not children of the surviving spouse one half (1/2) of the intestate estate.
§16-1-4 Intestate Share of Heirs Other Than Surviving Spouse
(a) The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under the previous section of the intestate estate code or the entire estate if there is no surviving spouse passes as follows:
(1) To the children of the deceased; if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the deceased, equally, but if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree taken by representation;
(2) If there are no surviving child or children, to the parent or parents of the deceased equally;
(3) If there are no surviving children of parents, to the children of the parents or either of them by representation;
(4) If, there are no surviving children, parents or children of parents but the deceased is survived by one or more grandparent or children of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the paternal grandparents if both survive or to the surviving paternal grandparent or to the children of the paternal grandparents if both are deceased, the children taking equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the deceased, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take by representation; and the other half passes to the maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there be no surviving grandparent or children of grandparents on either the paternal or maternal side, the entire estate passes to the relatives on the other side in the same manner as the other half.
(a) All wills must be in writing and witnessed by at least two (2) witnesses who must be enrolled tribal members eligible to vote in tribal elections.
(b) All wills shall be proven in the tribal court by at least one (1) of the attesting witnesses identification of the signature of the testator and testimony by said witness that the testator executed the will in the witness's presence and that the testator appeared to be of sound mind and acknowledged to the witness that the document was his last will and testament.
(c) Any will may be contested by an heir or creditor of the estate in tribal court on any of the following grounds: fraud, undue influence, or incapacity of the testator.
(d) The tribal court shall receive all wills and order the same probated if uncontested or if contested unsuccessfully. Should a will be set aside in a will contesting all property of the testator shall pass pursuant to the terms of intestate estates.
(e) All creditors shall file any claims which they may have against the estate within ninety (90) days of the filing of the estate in tribal court or the same shall be forever barred. Claims shall be paid in the following a order:
(1) All expenses of last illness and burial;
(2) Any amount due to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians;
(3) Expenses for the administration of the estate;
(4) All other claims in the order filed.
§16-1-6 Administration of Estates
(a) Upon the death of an enrolled tribal member who has property within the jurisdiction of the tribal court, and upon application of an heir or creditor of the estate, the tribal court shall have jurisdiction over the estate and all property within the jurisdiction of the court.
(b) All estates whether intestate or by will shall be commenced in court by the filing of a sworn petition which shall contain the following:
(1) The name of the deceased;
(2) The place and date of death;
(3) The names, ages and relationship to. deceased of all heirs of deceased, and if deceased died testate, all beneficiaries under the will;
(4) If the deceased died testate a copy of the will shall be annexed to the petition;
(5) Nature and extent of the deceased's property and the location of the same;
(6) Copy of death certificate or other adequate proof of death;
(7) Statement of all claims against the estate which petitioner is aware of;
(8) Proof of service on the persons named above of the petition which service is to be made by registered mail.
§16-1-7 Probate Hearing
(a) Once the petition for administration of the estate has been filed and the court has been satisfied that all parties concerned have been served with a copy of the same the court shall set a date for a hearing on the probate of the estate and shall cause a copy of the notice of hearing to be served personally or by registered mail upon all parties.
(b) Upon a hearing of all evidence and from all parties the court shall enter its own order distributing the property of the deceased in accordance with the estate laws of the tribe.