Common QuestionsIs a will different for people who live on reserve?
A will is a written document in which you describe what should happen to your property after you die. It must follow certain rules to be considered valid (legal). If you are registered under the Indian Act and you live on reserve, the process for creating and administering a will is guided by the Indian Act.
Good starting points include:
- Writing Your Own Will: A Guide for First Nations People Living On Reserve, from the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC, describes how to make a will if you are a registered Indian living on reserve. It also includes blank examples of wills.
- Wills and Estates on Reserve, from Legal Services Society, explains how wills and estates work on reserve, what happens if you inherit land on reserve where you are not a member, and includes links to the two resources below.
- Estate Administration On-Reserve: A Guide for Executors and Administrators in British Columbia, by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, is a guide that provides general information on administering simple estates under the Indian Act. It is designed to be used with the Estate Administration on Reserve Templates Package, which contains forms and sample letters.
Need more help?
- Indigenous Community Legal Clinic (ICLC), from UBC's Peter A. Allard School of Law, provides assistance with will creation and will search to eligible clients who cannot afford a lawyer and who self-identify as Indigenous persons.
- Lawyer Referral Service, from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, offers an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes with a lawyer for $25.
- Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.
See our related common questions:
- living on reserve, Aboriginal rights, settling the estate of a registered Indian, status Indian, making a will,