Clearly explaining the probate process
In order to be accepted under Alaska Statutes, a will must be:
- Signed by the testator, or at the testator's direction and in the testator's conscious presence; and
- Signed by at least two witnesses who witness either the signing of the will or the testator's acknowledgment of the signature on the will.
Alaska Statutes also recognize the validity of a holographic will. In order for a holographic will to be accepted, the signature and material portions of the document must be in the testator's handwriting. See A.S. 13.12.502.
In addition, Alaska Statutes set out a self-proving format for wills. In order to be self-proving, the testator must sign an acknowledgement of the will and the witnesses must sign affidavits. These signatures must be evidenced by an officer authorized to administer oaths (usually a notary). The specific language for the acknowledgment and affidavits is set out in A.S. 13.12.504.
Most original wills being submitted today are in the self-proving format which is set out in A.S. 13.12.504. In the absence of this, affidavits of subscribing witnesses must be submitted with the application for informal probate of a will.
A.S. 13.12.530-590 outline the process to fully establish the validity of a will.