Inheriting ANCSA Stock


Under state law, Alaska Statute 13.16.705, deceased shareholders' interests in ANCSA stock do not go through probate but instead are handled by the corporations themselves. Shareholders can obtain a stock will form through their corporation, to designate how shares will be distributed upon their death.

The corporations first look to what any stock will (either on the stock certificate or separate from it) says should happen to the shares. Then they look to any general will to see what should happen to the shares. Then they look to the laws of intestate succession. If there is a dispute about what the corporation is doing, or plans to do, a person claiming ownership of the stock may file a case in state superior court. See AS 13.16.705(a).

If a person has filled out a stock will and then, later, fills out a general will, the stock will stays in effect unless the general will specifically mentions the stock. See AS 13.16.705(b). If there is more than one document that mentions the stock, the most recent valid will (or stock will) is controlling.

The standard Alaska rules about intestate succession apply to ANCSA stock, with one exception. When someone who does not have a will does have a surviving spouse, the general rule is that the spouse inherits all of the first $100,000 of that person's property, and, depending on who else survives, may inherit all or most of the rest. See AS 13.12.102(a). However, when there is ANCSA stock, the surviving spouse inherits all of it if there are no surviving children, but only half of it if there are surviving children. See AS 13.12.102(b).

Last Review and Update: Aug 01, 2006