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When someone in your family dies, the "estate" is that family member's real and personal property that must be managed by an executor or administrator. The executor or administrator will be appointed to gather, protect and distribute the estate to those entitled.
If there is a Will, someone may have been named by the deceased as an executor to administer the estate.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) can appoint a family member, anyone named in the Will, or anyone else the family members choose. If there is no Will or no one is named in the Will and no one applies to administer the estate, AANDC may assist by appointing a departmental administrator for the estate.
A family member is in the best position to administer the estate to everyone's satisfaction. A family member will have full control over the estate and is in the best position to obtain the cooperation of the other family members.
If a family member is appointed to administer the estate, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has an administrative and quasi-judicial role (ie: the Minister's role is to appoint administrators, approve Wills and reserve land transfers and to resolve disputes brought before the Minister).
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