While the process to make an online will is similar in every state, there are differences. Every U.S. state has specific stipulations for making a will, so you want to make sure you understand what your state requires for a will to be considered valid. When you make an online will in Alaska, be sure to follow all the state statutes and to use an online will template that is designed for Alaska.
Can I Make a Will Online in Alaska?
Yes, you can make an online will in Alaska. You can use an online will making service to make sure that your will is customized for Alaska. Of all the wills we created—and had our lawyer review—USLegalWills had the best end product. To make an online last will and testament, we recommend USLegalWills.
Here are the legal requirements for online will making in Alaska:
- The person writing the will, or the Testator, must be at least 18 years of age and be of sound mind.
- The will must be in writing. After making an online will, you must print it out. Some states allow a digital-only will, meaning that the will can be made, signed, and witnessed electronically without printing out a paper copy. However, the state of Alaska does not allow digital-only wills.
- The will must be signed by the Testator (or the Testator can direct another individual to sign on their behalf while in their conscious presence).
- The will must be signed by at least two individuals within a reasonable time after the two witnesses observe either the signing of the will by the Testator or the Testator’s acknowledgement of the will or signature.
- In Alaska, if the signature and material portions of the will are in the Testator’s handwriting, the will can be considered valid without witnesses as a holographic will.
Does Alaska Require a Notarized Will?
In short, no, Alaska does not require the will to be notarized to be considered valid. However, like many states, Alaska allows for “self-proving wills.” When a will is presented to the probate court, it must be proven. If you don’t take the extra step to finalize your will through a “self-proving affidavit,” then your will must be proven in a formal probate process, which can be lengthy, complicated, and require witnesses to testify in court.
A “self-proving affidavit” is a separate document that you get notarized and attach to your will. It is a sworn statement that you and your witnesses sign in front of a notary public to certify that, when writing your will, you were of age, of sound mind, were not unfairly influenced by anyone or anything, and that you signed the will voluntarily. You can find more information on Alaska’s statute on “self-proving wills” here.
Once you and your witnesses sign a “self-proving affidavit” in front of a notary public, your will is considered to be proven, which makes the process of executing your will more straightforward.
Can I Name an Executor in Alaska?
Yes, you can name an executor for your estate when making an online will in Alaska. The executor is the person designated to settle the estate and ensure that the will is followed after the Testator’s death. It is a good idea to choose someone you know and trust to be the executor in your will. If you do not name someone as your executor, then the probate court will appoint someone to handle the estate.
Here are the requirements for an executor in Alaska:
- The person must be at least 19 years of age.
- The person must not have been judged incapacitated by a court.
- The person can be a beneficiary of your estate.
Many states disallow people who have felony convictions from serving as the executor; however, in Alaska, there is no statute that prohibits you from choosing someone who has been convicted of a felony. But, Alaska probate court will reject someone found to be “unsuitable in formal proceedings.” That means if any “interested persons”—your spouse, heirs, creditors, for example—question the qualifications of the person you have selected as your executor, the court will hold a formal hearing and a judge will determine who is best to serve as your executor. This means that you should choose someone you trust and you know will be able to competently handle the matters of your estate.
To name an executor who lives out-of-state, Alaska has no special requirements. Though you can choose an out-of-state executor without issue, you may want to consider that the executor will have to handle various details that can be time-consuming and require in-person actions (such as filing paperwork), so choosing someone nearby may be better.
Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Will in Alaska?
No, an attorney is not required to make a will in Alaska. But if your estate is very large or complex, it is wise to consult an estate planning attorney. Though, in most cases, when your estate is simple and your will is straightforward, choosing an online will making service is a good option. You just have to make sure to follow the legal requirements of the state and choose an online will template specific to Alaska.
What Types of Wills Are Valid in Alaska?
Any type of will which meets the federal and state-specific requirements is valid in Alaska, whether the will is made online or not.
Can I Make a Holographic Will in Alaska?
A holographic will is a handwritten last will and testament signed only by the Testator. Alaska considers holographic wills valid if it is signed, dated, and the material provisions are in the Testator’s handwriting. It is important to consider that holographic wills can often face delays in probate court because they do not meet the requirements to be “self-proven,” which means that holographic wills have to undergo a formal probate process in order to be considered authentic and valid. Choosing to make an online will in Alaska, and attaching a “self-proving affidavit,” means that your will is considered valid without having to be proven in court.
Can I Make a Nuncupative or Video Will in Alaska?
A nuncupative will is an oral will, and some individuals wish to leave oral wills on video. While nuncupative wills are not ideal, they are allowed in Alaska only under certain conditions. Alaska only allows soldiers serving in the military or mariners at sea to leave nuncupative wills—and they must be proven authentic within six months of the words spoken or reduced to writing within 30 days. Alaska also will not allow probate of a nuncupative will 14 days after death, and it must be committed to writing.
How Is a Living Will Different from an Online Will in Alaska?
A living will, also called an advance directive, is a legal document which gives instructions on medical decisions and end-of-life care. A living will and a last will and testament are two separate documents with distinct purposes. A living will contains your wishes pertaining to medical decisions and end-of-life care should you become incapacitated, whereas your last will and testament contains how you want to disburse your estate. Because your last will and testament is usually not filed or read until after death and after the funeral, a living will is necessary so that doctors and family know how best to uphold your wishes if you are incapacitated. You can make both a last will and testament and a living will online.
You can find the form and the requirements for making a living will in Alaska here.
For a living will to be valid in Alaska, you must print it out and sign it in front of two witnesses who must also sign it. Unlike a last will and testament, these two witnesses must not be related to you in any capacity (whether by blood, marriage, or adoption), and they may not stand to benefit from your death; the witnesses also cannot be a healthcare provider in the same facility you are receiving care. You can also choose to validate your living will by signing the Advance Health Care Directive form in front of a notary public instead.
Why Do I Need to Make a Will Online in Alaska?
If you die without a will, then the state of Alaska’s intestacy laws will determine what happens to your estate. This can become a lengthy legal process. The court will appoint a guardian for any minor children as well as appoint an executor for your estate; your estate will be divided between surviving family members according to Alaska’s intestacy distribution laws, which can be found here. A lot of times, when someone dies without a will, then their property and any monetary funds can be held up in the probate court for months—causing complicated delays when settling the estate. If you make an online will in Alaska, it will speed up the process.
What Can I Include in an Online Will in Alaska?
In addition to choosing someone as the executor of your estate, you can also include the following when making an online will in Alaska:
- You can choose a guardian for minor children, and you can choose someone to oversee any property left to minor children.
- You can choose to leave property to a partner to whom you are not married.
- You can choose to leave property to friends, charities, or organizations.
- You can choose to leave property in unequal shares (such as more or less to one particular child, though any minor or dependent children are entitled to allowances).
- You can choose to put property into a trust, so that a person does not inherit it all at once.
- You can choose to prevent certain persons from inheriting your property (though there are exemptions for spouses and minor children).
- You can choose someone to care for remaining pets.
- You can choose what to do with personal or sentimental items.
What Should Not Be Included in a Will in Alaska?
You should not include medical directives, end-of-life care, or funeral instructions in your last will and testament. When an individual dies, the funeral arrangements are usually made immediately and then the will is read afterwards, meaning that medical directives and funeral arrangements may not be known until after the funeral.
For medical directives and end-of-life care, make a living will. For funeral instructions, you can simply talk with a family member about your wishes. You can also create a separate document describing your wishes and give it to the executor of your estate.
Can I Change or Revoke an Online Will Made in Alaska?
Yes, you can change or revoke your will at any time. A will is a legally binding document, so in order to change or revoke it, you have to do so in specific ways.
In Alaska, here are the ways to change or revoke a will:
- You can perform a “revocatory act,” such as burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying it with the purpose of revoking.
- You can make a new will that states you are revoking the old will or has contradictory terms to the old one.
After major life changes—like marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, acquisition of significant assets, or relocation to another state or country—it is a good idea to update your will. If you only want to make minor changes or additions, then you can add an amendment to your existing will called a codicil. To finalize the codicil, you must do so with the same formalities you used to make the original will.
How Do I Finalize an Online Will in Alaska?
In order to make an online will in Alaska valid, take these steps:
- You must print it out and sign it in front of two witnesses.
- You must see the two witnesses sign it in front of you.
You may also want to make your will “self-proved” by attaching a notarized affidavit with your and your two witnesses’ signatures.
Special Considerations in Alaska:
- Your spouse and children have exemptions and allowances under law, so disinheriting them is more complicated than simply stating so in your will. You can find more information about the exemptions and allowances here.
- If you want to add certain conditions for inheritance, you may want to consult an attorney to make sure that they are enforceable. Certain conditions, like requiring marriage or divorce, will not be enforced by the court.
We recommend USLegalWills to make a will online. Comprehensive service at affordable prices, with an option for secure storage and unlimited free updates to your last will and testament. See their pricing and will details here.