Alaska Probate | Alaska Inheritance Advances
If you are an heir living in Alaska, you may be going through Alaska’s probate process. Because this process varies from state to state, heirs often have difficulty finding time estimates or precise descriptions of the probate process. Learn about Alaska probate law and probate court in Alaska with our comprehensive guide!
Alaska Probate Process
Like all states, the process of probate in Alaska can be a frustrating ordeal for those who go through it first-hand. One nice feature of the probate process in Alaska is that the state is one of 17 states that has adopted the Uniform Probate Code in its entirety. Another favorable fact for heirs in Alaska is that there is neither a state inheritance tax nor a state tax, and heirs can receive their inheritance in full after the passing of their loved ones.
Does Alaska Require Probate?
The state government does require all wills in Alaska to go through probate court to prove their validity and ensure that courts follow the deceased’s wishes. However, Alaska offers options for probate court depending on the estate’s qualifications.
If the deceased’s assets consist solely of property valued less than $50,000 and vehicles valued less than $100,000, you may be able to apply for an affidavit for the collection of personal property. While you can avoid a court case by submitting a will for this affidavit, you must wait at least 30 days after the deceased’s passing before you do so.
All other properties and wills in Alaska must go through probate court for either formal or informal probate. Wills can go through informal probate if you submit them within three years of the deceased’s passing, have the original copy of the will and there are no objections or contests to it.
Formal probate typically occurs when heirs only have a copy of the will or if older versions are still valid alongside the most current version. Further, if there are any contests or objections to the will, it will have to go through formal probate.
How Can You Avoid Probate in Alaska?
There are many ways Alaskan heirs can avoid probate to receive their inheritance sooner. The quickest way for heirs to receive their inheritance after a loved one passes is if it qualifies as a living trust, where assets can pass to designated beneficiaries automatically after death. Common examples of living trusts include life insurance policies or bank accounts.
Married Alaskan citizens can help ensure their spouses can avoid probate court by protecting their assets with rights of survivorship. Assets under this category, such as homes and joint bank accounts, all pass automatically to the surviving spouse in the event of their partner’s death.
Depending on the value of your loved one’s property, you can instead apply for an affidavit for the collection of personal property, which will allow you to avoid the probate court process.
Delays to Your Inheritance in Alaska
Alaska, like all states, suffers from an incredibly long and complicated inheritance process. In fact, it takes nearly a year and a half on average to distribute an inheritance to the rightful heirs. However, many factors can lengthen the time involved in probate. While the informal probate process tends to move quicker than formal, any contests or objections to the estate will add more time to probate.
Many procedures within probate court also require waiting a specific amount of time. For example, after submitting a will to the probate court, you must publish a notice for creditors and debtors, which needs to stay up for at least a week. You must repeat the process three times as part of the probate process.
Most heirs in Alaska are surprised to learn they won’t receive their pending inheritance for such a long time. With the numerous seasonal demands and expenses of living in Alaska, that inheritance can be very important and helpful right away.
How Long Do You Have to File Probate After Death in Alaska?
There is no limit to when you can file a will with probate court after the deceased passes in Alaska. However, when you file may determine which probate process you can take. You need to file within the three years after the deceased’s passing to qualify for informal probate. Anything after three years will automatically end up in formal probate court.
What Happens if Someone Dies Without a Will in Alaska?
If your loved one passes in Alaska without a will — or with a will that the court declares invalid — then their assets are legally classified as intestate and follow specific guidelines for distribution. After someone dies without a will, the distribution of their assets will depend on their surviving heirs and their marital and parental status.
Surviving Spouse and Children
When someone who dies without a will has a surviving spouse, the spouse gets priority over their estate and typically receives most of the assets.
The divisions of estates with surviving spouses and children include:
- Only surviving spouse: If the deceased had no surviving children, their surviving spouse receives the entirety of the estate’s value.
- Only surviving children: If there is no surviving spouse, then any surviving children will receive the entirety of the estate’s value.
- Surviving spouse and children: The spouse will receive the first $150,000 of the estate’s value. They will also receive 50% of the remaining amount while the children receive the other 50%.
- Surviving spouse and only the deceased’s children: In some cases, the deceased may have children with someone other than the surviving spouse. The estate is split differently when the surviving spouse has not legally adopted those children. Here, the surviving spouse will receive the first $100,000 of the estate’s value and 50% of the remaining amount. The other 50% of the remainder goes to the children.
- Surviving spouse and parents: In cases where the deceased has no children, but their spouse and both parents survive them, the deceased’s spouse and parents will split assets. The spouse receives the first $200,000 of the estate’s value and 75% of the remaining amount. The parents split the remaining 25% of the estate’s total value. If only one parent survives, they will receive the complete 25% themselves.
No Surviving Spouse or Children
In cases where the deceased has no surviving spouse or children, other family members such as parents or grandparents can receive the estate:
- Only parents survive: If the deceased has surviving parents, they will receive the total value of their estate.
- Parents have surviving descendants: When the deceased’s parents have also passed, the parent’s descendants — other children, grandchildren, etc. — receive the entirety of the estate’s value.
- No surviving parents or parental descendants: In cases where the deceased has no surviving parents or parental descendants, the estate’s assets fall to their surviving grandparents. The estate splits evenly depending on how many surviving grandparents there are. For example, if all four survive, each will receive 25% of the estate’s value.
Half-relatives like half-siblings do have claims over intestate inheritance. Legally adopted relatives like adopted children also qualify as full relatives and heirs. However, foster relatives, step-relatives and distant relatives don’t qualify as legal heirs in probate cases without a will.
Access Your Inheritance in Alaska Immediately With Inheritance Funding
It’s vital to understand what to expect moving forward as you enter the probate process. The probate court process can be long and frustrating for heirs, as the courts withhold inheritance for years.
If you are an heir to an estate in Alaska, you no longer need to wait for probate to close before you can use your inheritance. At Inheritance Funding, our inheritance advance helps heirs access their inheritance sooner, with inheritance advance services that allow you to receive your money on the same day. You decide how much of your inheritance you’d like to access early and we’ll go to work for you right away.
As the longest-serving and oldest company in the industry, we understand the probate process best to help heirs receive their inheritance faster. After receiving your inheritance, you can access it right awayand use it for whatever you wish. Whether you need the money for everyday bills, a vacation, purchasing or fixing a vehicle or making a downpayment on a new home, there are no restrictions on how you use your money.
We’ve advanced over $200 million to thousands of heirs just like you in our 25-year history, many of those in Alaska. We’re more than happy to walk you through the Alaska probate process and answer all of your questions. Contact Inheritance Funding today to get closer to obtaining your inheritance immediately.