Indian Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-5)

Act current to 2015-11-16 and last amended on 2015-04-02. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Particular powers

 Without restricting the generality of section 42, the Minister may

  • (a) appoint executors of wills and administrators of estates of deceased Indians, remove them and appoint others in their stead;

  • (b) authorize executors to carry out the terms of the wills of deceased Indians;

  • (c) authorize administrators to administer the property of Indians who die intestate;

  • (d) carry out the terms of wills of deceased Indians and administer the property of Indians who die intestate; and

  • (e) make or give any order, direction or finding that in his opinion it is necessary or desirable to make or give with respect to any matter referred to in section 42.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 43.
Marginal note:Courts may exercise jurisdiction with consent of Minister
  •  (1) The court that would have jurisdiction if a deceased were not an Indian may, with the consent of the Minister, exercise, in accordance with this Act, the jurisdiction and authority conferred on the Minister by this Act in relation to testamentary matters and causes and any other powers, jurisdiction and authority ordinarily vested in that court.

  • Marginal note:Minister may refer a matter to the court

    (2) The Minister may direct in any particular case that an application for the grant of probate of the will or letters of administration of a deceased shall be made to the court that would have jurisdiction if the deceased were not an Indian, and the Minister may refer to that court any question arising out of any will or the administration of any estate.

  • Marginal note:Orders relating to lands

    (3) A court that is exercising any jurisdiction or authority under this section shall not without the consent in writing of the Minister enforce any order relating to real property on a reserve.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 44.


Marginal note:Indians may make wills
  •  (1) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent or prohibit an Indian from devising or bequeathing his property by will.

  • Marginal note:Form of will

    (2) The Minister may accept as a will any written instrument signed by an Indian in which he indicates his wishes or intention with respect to the disposition of his property on his death.

  • Marginal note:Probate

    (3) No will executed by an Indian is of any legal force or effect as a disposition of property until the Minister has approved the will or a court has granted probate thereof pursuant to this Act.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 45.
Marginal note:Minister may declare will void
  •  (1) The Minister may declare the will of an Indian to be void in whole or in part if he is satisfied that

    • (a) the will was executed under duress or undue influence;

    • (b) the testator at the time of execution of the will lacked testamentary capacity;

    • (c) the terms of the will would impose hardship on persons for whom the testator had a responsibility to provide;

    • (d) the will purports to dispose of land in a reserve in a manner contrary to the interest of the band or contrary to this Act;

    • (e) the terms of the will are so vague, uncertain or capricious that proper administration and equitable distribution of the estate of the deceased would be difficult or impossible to carry out in accordance with this Act; or

    • (f) the terms of the will are against the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Where will declared void

    (2) Where a will of an Indian is declared by the Minister or by a court to be wholly void, the person executing the will shall be deemed to have died intestate, and where the will is so declared to be void in part only, any bequest or devise affected thereby, unless a contrary intention appears in the will, shall be deemed to have lapsed.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 46.