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HB 196: "An Act relating to the handling of matters after a person's death."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 196                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to the handling of matters after a person's death."                                                    
02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
03    * Section 1. AS 13.12.517 is amended to read:                                                                      
04            Sec. 13.12.517. Penalty clause for contest. A provision in a will purporting to                            
05       penalize an interested person for contesting the will or instituting other proceedings                            
06       relating to the estate is enforceable even [UNENFORCEABLE] if probable cause                                  
07       exists for instituting proceedings.                                                                               
08    * Sec. 2. AS 13.16.680(a) is amended to read:                                                                      
09            (a)  Thirty days after the death of a decedent, any person indebted to the                                   
10       decedent or having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument                                      
11       evidencing a debt, obligation, stock, or chose in action belonging to the decedent shall                          
12       make payment of the indebtedness or deliver the tangible personal property or an                                  
13       instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock, or chose in action to a person claiming                          
14       to be the successor of the decedent upon being presented an affidavit made by or on                               
15       behalf of the successor stating that                                                                              
01                 (1)  the [VALUE OF THE] entire estate, wherever located, less liens                                     
02       and encumbrances, consists only of not more than                                                              
03                      (A)  vehicles subject to registration under AS 28.10.011 with                                  
04            a total value that does not exceed $100,000; and                                                         
05                      (B)  personal property, other than vehicles described in (A)                                   
06            of this paragraph, that does not exceed $25,000 [$15,000];                                           
07                 (2)  30 days have elapsed since the death of the decedent;                                              
08                 (3)  no application or petition for the appointment of a personal                                       
09       representative is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction; and                                            
10                 (4)  the claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the                                   
11       property.                                                                                                         
12    * Sec. 3. AS 13.16.700 is amended to read:                                                                         
13            Sec. 13.16.700. Settlement directed by court. When a judge receives                                        
14       information that a person has died in the judge's judicial district leaving an estate with                    
15       property limited to the property described under AS 13.16.680(a)(1) [OF $15,000]                              
16       or less and no qualified person has appeared to take charge of the assets, the judge                              
17       may immediately appoint a person, corporation, or attorney to settle the estate in the                            
18       manner provided for in AS 13.16.680 - 13.16.695.                                                                  
19    * Sec. 4. AS 13.33.101 is amended by adding  new subsections to read:                                              
20            (d)  The money or other benefits paid under a provision for a nonprobate                                     
21       transfer on death in a life insurance contract or a retirement plan are not subject to                            
22                 (1)  the debts of the individual who was insured under the life insurance                               
23       contract or who was a participant in the retirement plan; or                                                      
24                 (2)  the claims of the creditors of the individual who was insured under                                
25       the life insurance contract or who was a participant in the retirement plan.                                      
26            (e)  The provisions of (d) of this section apply even if                                                     
27                 (1)  the provision for a nonprobate transfer on death is contained in the                               
28       life insurance contract or the retirement plan and designates the person to whom the                              
29       money or other benefits are to be paid if the person who is the owner or insured under                            
30       the life insurance policy or the participant in the retirement plan does not select a                             
31       beneficiary;                                                                                                      
01                 (2)  the life insurance contract, retirement plan, or a provision for a                                 
02       nonprobate transfer on death in the life insurance contract or retirement plan, makes                             
03       the money or other benefits payable, directly or indirectly, to                                                   
04                      (A)  a decedent's estate or the personal representative of a                                       
05            decedent's estate; in this subparagraph, "personal representative" has the                                   
06            meaning given in AS 13.06.050;                                                                               
07                      (B)  a trustee of a trust established under a will; or                                             
08                      (C)  a trustee of a trust instrument that is separate from the life                                
09            insurance contract or retirement plan and that designates the ultimate                                       
10            beneficiary;                                                                                                 
11                 (3)  a trust to which the money or other benefits are payable may be                                    
12       amended, revoked, or both amended and revoked, or is funded or unfunded; or                                       
13                 (4)  the settlor of the trust to which the money or other benefits are                                  
14       payable has reserved all rights of ownership in the life insurance contract or under the                          
15       retirement plan.                                                                                                  
16            (f)  The provisions of (d) of this section do not limit the rights of the owner of                           
17       a life insurance contract to pledge or assign by contract the money or other benefits                             
18       from a life insurance contract as collateral for the debts of the owner.                                          
19            (g)  In (d) of this section,                                                                                 
20                 (1)  "life insurance contract" means a life insurance policy, an annuity                                
21       contract, an endowment contract, and a contract entered into by an insurance company                              
22       in connection with, supplemental to, or in settlement of a life insurance policy, an                              
23       annuity contract, or an endowment contract;                                                                       
24                 (2)  "retirement plan" means                                                                            
25                      (A)  a retirement plan that is qualified under 26 U.S.C. 401(a),                                   
26            26 U.S.C. 403(a), 26 U.S.C. 403(b), 26 U.S.C. 408, 26 U.S.C. 408A, or 26                                     
27            U.S.C. 409 (Internal Revenue Code); and                                                                      
28                      (B)  the amounts held in the teachers' retirement system under                                     
29            AS 14.25, judicial retirement system under AS 22.25, public employees'                                       
30            retirement system under AS 39.35, or elected public officers' retirement system                              
31            under former AS 39.37.                                                                                       
01    * Sec. 5. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                          
02 read:                                                                                                                   
03       APPLICABILITY. (a) AS 13.16.680(a), as amended by sec. 2 of this Act, and                                         
04 AS 13.16.700, as amended by sec. 3 of this Act, apply to a decedent if the decedent dies on or                          
05 after the effective date of this Act.                                                                                   
06       (b)  AS 13.33.101(d), (e), (f), and (g), as added by sec. 4 of this Act, apply to                                 
07 provisions for a nonprobate transfer on death in a life insurance contract or a retirement plan                         
08 that are made before, on, or after the effective date of this Act. In this subsection, "life                            
09 insurance contract" and "retirement plan" have the meanings given in AS 13.33.101(g), added                             
10 by sec. 4 of this Act.