Wiikwemkoong’s First Nations Estates
What We Do
- We will assist with the writing of wills,
- We provide secure storage of wills,
- We assist with the appointment of estate administrators,
- We assist administrators in the performance of their responsibilities,
- We will assist in researching the history of lands, and of families,
- We will be the administrators of last resort.
Estate Planning is Important
Wills can determine the administration for the estate. A will is your voice, guiding your family on how you want your belongings to be distributed and who will be appointed.
Four Necessary Will Conditions (Under Section 45 of the Indian Act)
- The will must be in your writing or typed (no recordings).
- The will must be signed by the testator, and if they can’t write, the signature may be a mark (X) but witnessed,
- The will must indicate wishes or intention as to the disposition of the testator’s property and non-property matters,
- The will must be intended to take effect on death.
To open an estate in Wikwemikong the deceased must have been registered member of the W.U.I.R. #26 and resident on reserve at time of death.
Family members should report the death of the deceased to our office and submit an application for “appointment of executor”. Our office requires a death certificate with names and addresses of heirs/beneficiaries.
Determine if the deceased died intestate or testate.
- Died with out a will – all heirs at law are contacted and advised of options.
- Died with a will – the executor or beneficiaries are contaced and advised of their options.
Responsibilities of an Administrator/Executor
- To secure physical assets,
- Post notice to creditors,
- Gather all information on assets and debts,
- Satisfy debts starting with funeral account,
- Distribute remaining assets
- If there is land, submit the “Transfer of Land By Personal Representative” form (C-11) to the Lands Office.
A more detail checklist (general guide for on-reserve administrator) is available at our office.
We Are Ready To Help Whenever You Are Ready.
History of Estates Program
As a result of the 1996 Supreme Court of Canada decision (A.G Canada vs. Canard), the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs has changed it’s way of doing business. The Canard decision states that heirs to Indian estates have the equivalent right to be appointed to administer the estates of deceased relatives.
As this had been an exclusive responsibility of INAC they had to develop a system of devolving this responsibility to the First Nations. INAC posted a Request for Proposals from First Nations for a PILOT PROJECT to design a system of administering and closing Estates for First Nation people.
Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve #26 was successful in their submission. In their submission Wikwemikong stated not only would they help design a system, but also work on their own huge backlog of over 200 unresolved estates.
Wikwemikong posted a Request for Applications for a First Nation Estates Trustee and Assistant. Two Band members were hired and the pilot project began in July 1997.
It is now entering its 16th year and is viewed as a successful project by AANDC. The project is approved on an annual basis.
First Nations Estates
Wiikwemkoong Estates Office
19A Complex Drive P.O Box 112
Wiikwemkoong, Ontario P0P 2J0
Phone: (705) 859-3122 ext.248
Fax: (705) 859-3851
Toll Free: 1-800-880-1406