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Is there anything unique about estate planning in Alaska?

Living in Alaska affords many freedoms that people in other states can only dream about, but one adult item that is inescapable is estate planning. Why? Because no matter where you live, at some point, you are going to pass away. Estate planning is critical to safeguard your financial legacy and ensure that assets are distributed as you desire. Alaska’s estate planning landscape boasts distinctive features that residents should be mindful of.

Life estate deeds

Alaska permits the use of life estate deeds. These are unique tools that enable property owners to transfer ownership while retaining residency rights until death. This can be a strategic maneuver to sidestep probate or manage future property transitions effectively.

Alaska Trust Act

The state’s Trust Act offers considerable flexibility that allows the establishment of self-settled trusts where the grantor can also be the beneficiary. This setup allows for asset protection and potential estate tax benefits not commonly found in other states.

Less common issues

Alaska’s estate planning terrain has many less common challenges, such as navigating Native ANCSA Stock or restricted property considerations. Native laws can add an additional layer of intricacies to an estate plan. Additionally, nuances in advance healthcare directives and living will laws may differ from other regions.


Estate planning in Alaska offers a blend of unique opportunities and challenges, but keep in mind that while you cannot avoid dying, estate planning also includes things for while you are alive. Familiarizing yourself with these intricacies. This knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions regarding your estate plans.