Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's (AANDC) estates programs are part of the Department's responsibilities under the Indian Act to help families manage the legal and financial affairs (also known as estates) of deceased, minor or mentally incompetent Status Indians (as defined in the Indian Act). AANDC can appoint an estate administrator if no eligible individual is willing or able to administer the estate in question.
AANDC also helps First Nations people to administer estates themselves. This supports the Department's overall mandate to encourage the efforts of Aboriginal people to increasingly manage their own political, economic and social affairs.
The Living Estates Program is responsible for ensuring that the federal government's legal obligations and responsibilities, pursuant to sections 51 and 52 of the Indian Act, are met by providing for the management and administration of the estates of Indian minors and mentally incompetent Indians (as defined by the Indian Act).
The Decedent Estates Program is responsible for ensuring that the federal government's legal obligations and responsibilities, pursuant to sections 42 to 50 of the Indian Act, are met by providing for the management of Indian estates. The Minister of AANDC has exclusive jurisdiction and authority over the estates of deceased First Nation individuals who were registered, or entitled to be registered, as an Indian and were ordinarily residents on a reserve before their death.
For more information, contact Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada toll-free at 1-800-567-9604.