TN 12 (03-14)
GN 02315.037 Alaska Small Estates
A. Policy for Alaska court summary administration procedure
Alaska Stat. § 13.16.690 provides a summary administrative procedure for “small estates” (where it appears from the inventory and appraisal that the value of the entire estate, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed homestead allowance, exempt property, family allowance, costs and expenses of administration, reasonable funeral expenses, and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the decedent’s last illness). The court may appoint a person, corporation, or attorney as the personal representative to settle a small estate. Alaska Stat. § 13.16.700. Request adequate evidence if a person claims to be the personal representative. For a discussion of adequate documentation for legal representatives, see GN 02301.035.
The personal representative, without giving creditors notice, ordinarily may immediately disburse and distribute the estate and file a closing statement per Alaska Stat. §§ 13.16.690, 13.16.695. The appointment of the personal representative terminates, if no proceeding is pending in court, one year after the closing statement is filed. Alaska Stat. § 13.16.695(b).
B. Policy for Alaska affidavit procedure
Alaska Stat. § 13.16.680 provides that any person indebted to the decedent is required to make payment of the amount to a person claiming to be the successor of a small estate upon presentation of an affidavit stating:
the entire estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, consists only of not more than: vehicles subject to registration with a total value that does not exceed $100,000, and personal property other than vehicles that does not exceed $50,000;
30 days have elapsed since the decedent’s death;
no application has been made for appointment of a personal representative; and
the claiming successor is entitled to payment.
C. Policy for Alaska good acquittance
Any person paying debts under the above affidavit procedure is discharged to the same extent as if dealing with the personal representative. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is not required to inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit or seek evidence of how the successor applied the money received. Alaska Stat. § 13.16.685.