Preparing Your Own Will

An attorney is the best person to help you write your Will, but if no attorney is available you can write your own Will. This Classroom goes over the basics of what a will does, how your property would be distributed if you don't have a will, describes the contents of each section in a standard will, and provides Alaska specific information that is important to consider if writing your own will. A sample will is provided at the end of the classroom that can be used as a guideline in writing a will for yourself.

The Contents of Your Will: If You Have Minor Children


Preparing Your Will


Preparing Your Will

An Additional Section if you have Minor Children

If you have a minor child, it is very important that you nominate an adult to be "legal guardian" in the event that you and the child’s other parent have both died. You will need to add a section to your will for this, in addition to the 9 sections mentioned above.

Nominating a Guardian for a Minor Child

You and the other parent should discuss this matter and agree who should be the person to raise your child if something should happen to both of you. Before nominating someone as guardian, you should have a candid discussion with that person to be sure that they are willing and able to serve. In deciding who to name, consider such matters as your child’s needs, your cultural background, family traditions, the presence of extended family, and the financial resources available to assist the child.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  By nominating a guardian for your child, you cannot strip the other parent of his or her parental rights. This is particularly important to remember in divorced households. The surviving parent has priority over the nominated guardian unless it can be proven that the surviving parent is unable, unwilling, or unfit to care for the child. Alaska has a very strong preference in keeping children with a biological parent.


If I should die and my husband is not available to serve as the guardian of my minor children, I nominate (insert name) of (insert address) as the legal guardian of my children.  If she is not available to serve in such capacity, I nominate * of * as the alternate legal guardian of my children.

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