Alaska Wills Laws

A will is a legally binding document in which the testator (the person to whom the estate applies) designates his or her belongings to family members, loved ones, and other beneficiaries after his or her death. State laws on wills outline certain restrictions, such as age limits, witness requirements, and other rules for creating a valid will. For instance, some states do not recognize handwritten (holographic) or oral (nuncupative) wills at all, while others allow them in certain circumstances. The estates of those who die without a valid will are sorted out in probate court.

Wills Law in Alaska: Overview

The state of Alaska requires testators to be at least 18 and must have the will signed by at least two witnesses. Oral wills are valid if they pertain to mariners at sea or military service members in active duty.

Additional details of Alaska's laws concerning wills are listed below. See FindLaw's Making a Will section for additional articles.

Code Section 13.12.501, et seq.
Age of Testator 18 years or older and of sound mind.
Number of Witnesses Signed by at least 2 individuals, each of whom signs within a reasonable time after the witness witnesses either the signing of the will as described in (2) or the testator's acknowledgment of signature or the will.
Nuncupative (Oral Wills) Valid for mariner at sea or soldier in the military service for personal property as he would have done by common law or by reducing the same to writing; proof must be made within 6 months of words spoken or reduced to writing within 30 days
Holographic Wills Recognized as valid if signature and material provisions are in handwriting of testator; does not need to be witnessed.
Revocation of a Will A will or a part of a will is revoked:
  • By executing a subsequent will that revokes the previous will or part expressly or by inconsistency; or
  • By performing a revocatory act on the will, if the testator performed the act with the intent and for the purpose of revoking the will or part of the will or if another individual performed the act in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; in this paragraph, "revocatory act on the will" includes burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will or any part of it; a "revocatory act on the will" includes a burning, tearing, or canceling whether or not the burn, tear, or cancellation touched any of the words on the will.

Note: State laws are subject to change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, the enactment of new legislation, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact an Alaska estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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