Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/17/2021 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:33:26 PM Start
01:35:33 PM Confirmation Hearings
02:41:44 PM SB90
03:01:30 PM SB15
03:03:58 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 15 OPEN MEETINGS ACT; PENALTY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees TELECONFERENCED
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 90 ELECTRONIC WILLS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 90(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                     SB 90-ELECTRONIC WILLS                                                                                 
2:41:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD   reconvened  the   meeting  and   announced  the                                                               
consideration of  SENATE BILL NO.  90, "An Act relating  to wills                                                               
and the  probate of  wills; relating  to the  making, witnessing,                                                               
self-proving,  revocation, and  probate  of  wills by  electronic                                                               
means;  relating to  the choice  of law  for execution  of wills;                                                               
relating to  the certification  of copies  of wills;  relating to                                                               
the establishment  of the  validity of a  will before  death; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:41:58 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD reconvened the meeting and solicited a motion.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:43:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  moved to adopt the  proposed committee substitute                                                               
(CS)  for SB  90, [work  order  32-LS0501\I], Version  I, as  the                                                               
working document.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:43:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:43:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MYERS  asked  if  the committee  must  first  adopt  the                                                               
committee substitute.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  REINBOLD clarified  that she  objected to  first hear  the                                                               
changes in Version I.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:44:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MYERS  explained that the  committee substitute  (CS) for                                                               
SB 90, Version I, incorporated Amendments  1, 2, and 5 which were                                                               
previously adopted.  This bill makes changes  to revocatory acts,                                                               
addresses an  electronic form of  holographic wills,  and removes                                                               
the ability to store an electronic  will with the court since the                                                               
court system lacks the ability to do so.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:45:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD  removed her objection.  Version I was  before the                                                               
committee as the working document.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:46:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MYERS  moved  to  adopt  Amendment  1  [work  order  32-                                                               
LS0501\I.1]:                                                                                                                    
                                                   32-LS0501\I.1                                                                
                                                      Bannister                                                                 
                                                        3/17/21                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                         AMENDMENT [1]                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                          BY SENATOR MYERS                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     TO:  CSSB 90(JUD), Draft Version "I"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 5, following "form":                                                                                      
          Insert "but not electronically generated"                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 13, following "will":                                                                                         
          Insert ", including a reproduction of a                                                                               
     holographic will,"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 9, following "form":                                                                                      
          Insert "but not electronically generated"                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR REINBOLD objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:46:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MYERS   explained  that  Amendment  [1]   would  address                                                               
holographic  wills.  He  stated  that  the  committee  previously                                                               
worked on an amendment to the  bill but the general consensus was                                                               
that it did not fully address  the issues. He worked with Senator                                                               
Kiehl on  language to  allow handwriting  in electronic  form but                                                               
restrict  it from  being electronically  generated. In  practice,                                                               
this  will  allow  people  to  write their  wills  on  paper  and                                                               
photograph  them with  their phones  or scan  them into  computer                                                               
documents. However, it does not  allow people to type their wills                                                               
on computer tablets.  He indicated that concern  was raised about                                                               
someone using  artificial intelligence  (AI) to mimic  a person's                                                               
handwriting thereby  making it difficult to  authenticate who had                                                               
written the will.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:48:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL agreed  that holographic wills are  tricky. He said                                                               
that Amendment  1 gives him  much comfort. He acknowledged  it is                                                               
possible  to  envision  scenarios  where bad  actors  can  commit                                                               
fraud, so the  language in Amendment [1] was  crafted to minimize                                                               
the risks.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:49:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD thanked  them for  developing language  to better                                                               
address holographic wills.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:49:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD removed  her objection.  There  being no  further                                                               
objections, Amendment [1] was adopted.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MYERS stated that the  Department of Law submitted a zero                                                               
fiscal  note. The  department indicated  that  this bill  affects                                                               
what  is  done  in  private practice.  The  department  does  not                                                               
anticipate that this will affect any state operations.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   MYERS   said   that   this  bill   is   technical   but                                                               
straightforward. The  bill would allow  people to  validate their                                                               
wills by  using Zoom or  some other platform that  still provides                                                               
the ability  to authenticate them.  This provides  another option                                                               
for people to  use during a pandemic or in  remote situations, he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:51:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN  POLLARD,  Chief   Assistant  Attorney  General,  Statewide                                                               
Section   Supervisor,   Legislation  and   Regulations   Section,                                                               
Department of  Law, Juneau, Alaska,  said that the  department is                                                               
comfortable with  the fiscal note.  Senator Myers gave  a correct                                                               
explanation of the fiscal note, she said.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:52:23 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:52:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD   reconvened  the   meeting  and   opened  public                                                               
testimony on SB 90.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:52:55 PM                                                                                                                    
LINDA HULBERT, Agent, New York  Life, Fairbanks, Alaska, spoke in                                                               
support  of  SB  90.  She  stated that  she  has  worked  in  the                                                               
insurance and financial planning industry  for over 30 years. She                                                               
has  offices in  Fairbanks and  Anchorage but  works with  people                                                               
throughout Alaska.  She said that  the industry has  evolved from                                                               
using paper  applications to electron  processes due  to consumer                                                               
expectations.  She highlighted  that  she works  with clients  on                                                               
Zoom  and can  issue and  deliver their  insurance policies  very                                                               
quickly. She encourages her clients  to engage in will and estate                                                               
planning. However,  it can be  difficult for  people to do  so if                                                               
they lack electronic access. She  offered her view that this bill                                                               
is very necessary  and is well drafted. She  highlighted that her                                                               
clients  are increasingly  focused on  proactive estate  planning                                                               
due to the pandemic.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:55:42 PM                                                                                                                    
ABIGAIL O'CONNOR, Attorney, O'Connor  Law Office, LLC, Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, spoke  in support of  SB 90. She said  she is one  of the                                                               
attorneys  that initially  helped  draft this  bill. She  related                                                               
that   she  has   attended  numerous   national  meetings   where                                                               
electronic wills  were discussed. She  said she has  followed the                                                               
Uniform  Electronic   Wills  Act  so  she   is  comfortable  with                                                               
electronic wills. When electronic  wills were first introduced at                                                               
a conference in Orlando, Florida,  she recognized that electronic                                                               
wills were trending since commercial  entities have developed the                                                               
technology to make electronic wills  possible. She indicated that                                                               
her  firm  wanted  to  take  the initiative  and  work  with  the                                                               
legislature to design statutes to  make this technology available                                                               
to Alaskans.  This bill  responds to  the growing  expectation to                                                               
accomplish  estate  planning  efficiently  without  the  need  to                                                               
physically  walk into  an  attorney's office,  which  SB 90  will                                                               
achieve.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'CONNOR  expressed her  appreciation for  the time  spent on                                                               
the amendment to address the  holographic wills. She said she was                                                               
not  100   percent  sure  that   the  electronic  form   but  not                                                               
electronically-generated language  is what her firm  had in mind.                                                               
Instead,  her  office   wanted  people  to  be   able  to  create                                                               
holographic wills  on their computer  tablets. However,  she said                                                               
she respected  and understands the  concerns and concedes  to it.                                                               
She raised  a point about  Amendment [1  to Version I].  She said                                                               
she  thought  she  may  have responded  to  questions  about  the                                                               
"deleting"  language. At  the time  she thought  it was  from the                                                               
Uniform Electronic Wills Act, which  is what provides the primary                                                               
basis for most  of our language. However, she said  she went back                                                               
and  reviewed the  uniform  act and  it does  not  have the  word                                                               
"deleting" in  it. She opined that  this should not be  an issue.                                                               
Further, Amendment [1  to Version I] uses a  clear and convincing                                                               
evidence  standard  for  issues   related  to  electronic  wills.                                                               
However, the  Uniform Electronic  Wills Act uses  a preponderance                                                               
of the evidence  standard, she said. She stated that  she did not                                                               
have any objection to Amendment [1  to Version I] as written. She                                                               
expressed  her  appreciation  that  the  committee  embraced  the                                                               
concept of electronic wills and  remote witnessing, which is just                                                               
as important as electronic wills.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:59:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD closed public testimony on SB 90.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:59:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD solicited a motion.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:59:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER made  a motion  to report  SB 90,  Version I,  as                                                               
amended,  from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal notes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further objection, the CSSB  90(JUD) was reported                                                               
from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB90A.PDF SJUD 3/3/2021 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/3/2021 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Sectional Analysis.pdf SJUD 3/3/2021 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Supporting Documentation Electronic Wills Research.pdf SJUD 3/3/2021 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 B.1 Amendment.pdf SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 B.2 Amendment.pdf SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 B.5 Amendment Kiehl.pdf SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 B.6 Amendment.pdf SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB 15 Version B.PDF SCRA 2/25/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB15 Sectional Analysis 2.23.21.pdf SCRA 2/25/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB15 Sponsor Statement 2.24.21.pdf SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB15 Stupport Document States with Open Meetings Penalties Table.pdf SCRA 2/25/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB15 Presentation 2.25.21.pdf SCRA 2/25/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
CSSB 15 Version G.pdf SCRA 3/4/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
CSSB 15 Version G Explanation of Changes.pdf SCRA 3/4/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB15 Anchorage Code of Ethics Answers.pdf SCRA 3/4/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB15 Answer to Violations Frequency.pdf SCRA 3/4/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB 15 Fiscal Note DOA-APOC 3.8.21.pdf SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB 15 Anchorage Municipal Attorney's Office Written Testimony.pdf SCRA 3/9/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB 15 Public Testimony- Support 3.9.21.pdf SCRA 3/9/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15
SB 15 Public Testimony- Opposition 3.9.21.pdf SCRA 3/9/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 15