Alaska Probate

http://courts.alaska.gov/shc/probate/probate-informal.htm

 

Excerpt:

 

What is informal probate?

 

Informal probate is a court process that allows the Personal Representative to transfer the property of a person who died to the persons who are supposed to receive it with minimal court supervision. If a probate is necessary, this is the most common type.

 

An informal probate includes these steps:

 

Appointing a Personal Representative to manage the probate.

Gathering property owned by the person who died.

Notifying creditors and beneficiaries or heirs.

Handling debts and taxes.

Wrapping up the final business affairs of the person who died.

Transferring legal title of the property owned by the person who died to the proper persons.

Filing any documents required by the state or federal government.

Filing all documents required by the court.

In an informal probate, the Personal Representative can take these steps without asking the court for approval. Informal probate is simpler than formal probate. In fact, informal probate cases usually don’t require any hearings.

 

This section covers what to do when you want to (1) open an informal probate and (2) appoint a Personal Representative. If you want to do only one of these things or if one of these things has already been done, it is a good idea to talk to a probate lawyer.

 

 

How do I qualify for informal probate?

 

To qualify for informal probate, you must meet all of these requirements:

 

It has been three years or less since the person died.

If the person who died made a Will, you have the original Will.

If the person who died made more than one Will, the latest Will cancels (revokes) the older Wills.

If the person who died didn't have a will, there is no dispute among the interested persons about who will be the Personal Representative.

You have priority to be the Personal Representative.

No one has objected to the informal probate or your appointment as Personal Representative.

Some estates are small enough that they have fewer requirements and are called “small estates.” To determine if the estate qualifies as a small estate, prepare an Inventory of all property to determine the value. Then, add up the following:

 

Homestead Allowance

Family Allowance

Exempt Property

Probate costs

Funeral costs

Medical costs of the person's last illness

If the total value of all estate property in the Inventory, after subtracting liens and debts against the property, is less than all of the above amounts added together, the estate qualifies as a small estate. Learn more about Small Estates.

 

If you do not meet all of these requirements you will usually need to petition for formal probate.

 

 

How do I get started?

 

You will need to gather the following documents and file them with the court:

 

Certified copy of the Death Certificate. Some judges will accept a letter from the funeral home if the death certificate is not yet available.

Original Will if the person who died made a Will. If you are not sure if the person made a will, you will need to try to find it by looking in some of the common locations.

You will need to prepare the following documents and file them with the court. The forms you use depends on whether the person who died made a will:

 

Person Who Died Made a Will

 

Request to Start Informal Probate and Appoint a Personal Representative When There Is a Will, P-315 [Fill-In PDF]

Statement Starting Informal Probate and Appointing a Personal Representative When There is a Will, P-316 [Fill-In PDF]

Acceptance of Duties by Personal Representative and Letters Testamentary by Court, P-335 [Fill-In PDF]

Proof of bond if the bond is not waived by the Will, or

A separate Waiver of Bond Requirement, P-334 [Fill-In PDF] signed by each devisee named in the will.

Filing Fee.

 

 

Person Who Died Did NOT Make a Will

 

Request to Start Informal Probate and Appoint a Personal Representative When There Is No Will, P-325 [Fill-In PDF]

Statement Starting Informal Probate and Appointing a Personal Representative When There is No Will, P-326 [Fill-In PDF]

Acceptance of Duties by Personal Representative and Letters of Administration by Court, P-336 [Fill-In PDF]

Proof of bond or:

A separate Waiver of Bond Requirement, P-334 [Fill-In PDF] signed by each heir.

Filing Fee.

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