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: Survival Period and Remains


Preparing Your Will


Preparing Your Will

Survival Period

Alaska law requires a beneficiary to survive the deceased by at least 5 days in order to inherit property. This reduces the possibility that property would need to pass through two estates before being distributed. This “survival period” can be longer, and a 30 day survival period is common. This can be added to your will with a simple sentence:

“For the purposes of this Will, a person who is designated to receive a gift of real or personal property shall not be deemed to have survived me if that person dies within thirty days after my death.”

Disposition of Your Final Remains

Your Will is the appropriate place to designate whether you want to be buried or cremated, as well as whether or not you wish to have a memorial service.


            “It is my strong desire that I be buried in the ground rather than be cremated.”

            “It is my desire that upon my death, my remains be cremated and scattered at (insert instructions).”

Last Review and Update: Mar 21, 2017
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