Benefits of Having a Will: Considerations for Indigenous Communities


If you are an Indigenous person and live in a community (“reserve”), having a will gives you more control over what happens after you die and makes things easier on your family.


You don’t need to have a will, but there are consequences if you die without one. If you are an Indigenous person, are living in a community (“reserve”) when you die and don’t have a will, this is what will happen:

  • Your property will be distributed to your family members based on what the Indian Act says, not according to your wishes.
  • Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) will name a person to settle your affairs and distribute your property after you die.

Having a will gives you more control over what will happen after you die:

  • You can choose the person you want to settle your affairs (your executor).
  • You decide who your property will go to.

A notary or lawyer can help you prepare a will. You can also write a will on your own, but you must follow some rules for it to be valid.  

Important !
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.