Welcome to Wills & Estate Services for Lower Nicola Indian Band members. The Lands Department supports its members with wills and estate related planning, inquiries, and requests. Below is a list of documents and helpful information that LNIB members can refer to when writing a will, as well as, information for executors and administrators who may be managing an estate. To learn more about real and personal property, see information related to family homes on reserve below.


What is a will?
A legal document that instructs what to do with a will-maker’s estate when they die.

What is an estate?
Everything a person owns, and all debts owed, on the day they die.

What is intestate?
When a person dies without a will.

Who is an executor?
When a person makes a will, they name someone or a group, such as a law firm or a bank, to be responsible for managing the estate once they have died. That person or group is known as the executor or executrix. The executor manages all of the financial and legal matters of the estate and ensures that the will is carried out. It is possible to have more than one executor named in a will.

Who is an administrator?
If a person living on a reserve dies without a will or does not name an executor in their will, ISC or CIRNAC will appoint someone to manage the estate. The appointed person is known as the administrator and has the same duties as an executor. If no one is willing or able to manage the estate, ISC or CIRNAC will act as the administrator.

Who is a beneficiary?
Persons (e.g., child, cousin, or friend) or organizations (e.g., church or animal shelter) specifically named in the will to inherit from the estate.

Who is an heir?
Person(s) who may inherit from the estate of someone who died without a will (e.g., spouse, children, parents, and other relatives).

SEE Estate Services for First Nations


The Indian Act estates sections apply to an estate if you are status (registered) First Nations person or entitled to be registered under the Indian Act and live on reserve; or live on reserve, but leave temporarily for educational reasons or seasonal employment; or leave the reserve for medical reasons or to go into a care facility. The estates sections do not apply if you are status (registered) or entitled to be registered First Nations person and live off reserve; are non status and live on reserve.


Under the Indian Act, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) or Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is only involved with estates for people "ordinarily resident" on a reserve. "Ordinarily resident" on a reserve means that an eligible First Nations person usually lives on a reserve and does not maintain a primary residence off a reserve. They may, however, temporarily live off a reserve for education purposes or to obtain care or services not available on a reserve.

When there is a will but no person is able to process the estate then Indigenous Services Canada will appoint someone from the BC Estates Unit to manage the account.

For information about wills and estates of LNIB members who ordinarily reside off reserve, visit the Provincial BC Wills and Estates information section online by following the link below.

SEE British Columbia Wills & Estates


The following Wills & Estates Presentation was developed by the Lands team in partnership with a law firm to provide LNIB Members with current information about will-making and estates.

LNIB Wills Project Presentation


For wills and estate support email the Lands Department or call the Lands office at 250-378-5157. Check monthly Newsletters for Lands updates and developments including information about Wills & Estate Services for Members.

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