Indigenous Wills and Estates

Carine Bourget

The Indian Act has special rules for wills and estates of Indigenous people in Quebec.  


Who is this guide for? 

This guide explains the rules for wills and estates for these Indigenous people:   

  • registered under the Indian Act 
  • living in a community (“reserve”) when they died 

The rules also apply to these Indigenous people: 

  • temporarily away from the community  
  • living outside the community, for example, to study or for health reasons. 


The guide does not apply to some communities. 

The rules in this guide don’t apply to these Indigenous people: 

  • Inuit, Naskapi, Cree and Métis people  
  • living outside a community (“off reserve”) 

If you’re an Indigenous person living outside a community, or if you’re not an Indigenous person, the Civil Code of Québec applies to you. To learn more, read our articles on wills and estates


Making a Will

Making a will lets you express your wishes about decisions to be made after you die.



Settling an Estate

You can choose who will settle your estate when you die.




Special rules determine who will inherit land or a house in an Indigenous community.



Loss of Autonomy

There are various ways to help loved ones who can no longer manage their own affairs.


Tools for Community Workers