Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/03/2021 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:33:03 PM Start
01:34:43 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
02:16:30 PM SB90
02:54:03 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Boards and Commissions Appointees TELECONFERENCED
- Alaska State Commission for Human Rights
- Violent Crimes Compensation Board
*+ SB 90 ELECTRONIC WILLS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 3, 2021                                                                                          
                           1:33 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lora Reinbold, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Mike Shower, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
Senator Robert Myers                                                                                                            
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                             
Kyle Foster - Anchorage                                                                                                         
Rebecca Carrillo - Auke Bay                                                                                                     
Evelyn Falzerano - Anchorage                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                             
Greg Bringhurst - Fairbanks                                                                                                     
Robert "Bob" Urata - Juneau                                                                                                     
Anne Helzer - Anchorage                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
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."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 90                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: ELECTRONIC WILLS                                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MYERS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/22/21       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/21       (S)       JUD, L&C                                                                                               
03/03/21       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KYLE FOSTER, Appointee                                                                                                          
State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                               
Office of the Governor                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the State                                                                       
Commission for Human Rights.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA CARRILLO, Appointee                                                                                                     
State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                               
Office of the Governor                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the State                                                                       
Commission for Human Rights.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EVLYN FALZERANO, Appointee                                                                                                      
State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                               
Office of the Governor                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the State                                                                       
Commission for Human Rights.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB URATA, Appointee                                                                                                            
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                               
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Violent Crimes                                                              
Compensation Board.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
GREG BRINGHURST, Appointee                                                                                                      
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                               
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Violent Crimes                                                              
Compensation Board.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ANNE HELZER, Appointee                                                                                                          
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                               
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as  appointee to the Violent Crimes                                                             
Compensation Board.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JOSIAH NASH, Staff                                                                                                              
Senator Robert Myers                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: On behalf of  the sponsor, provided a sponsor                                                             
statement and sectional analysis for SB 90.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MATTHEW BLATTMACHR, Attorney                                                                                                    
Peak Trust Company                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the  discussion of                                                             
SB 90.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:33:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LORA   REINBOLD  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:33  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were  Senators  Kiehl, Myers,  Hughes,  Shower  and  Chair                                                               
Reinbold.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:34:25 PM                                                                                                                      
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                 
               State Commission for Human Rights                                                                            
               Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                            
1:34:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   REINBOLD    reconvened   the   meeting    and   announced                                                               
consideration  of   the  Governor's  Appointees  to   boards  and                                                               
commissions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:35:13 PM                                                                                                                    
KYLE  FOSTER,  Appointee,  State  Commission  for  Human  Rights,                                                               
Office of  the Governor,  Anchorage, Alaska,  stated that  he has                                                               
served on the commission since  August 2019. During his time with                                                               
the   commission  a   new  executive   director  was   hired.  He                                                               
anticipated  that under  the  current  leadership expertise,  the                                                               
commission will work to eliminate  and prevent discrimination for                                                               
all  Alaskans.  He   stated  his  interest  in   serving  on  the                                                               
commission because he  would like to see  discrimination ended in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:36:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  asked if he  has anything in his  background such                                                               
as  a  criminal  conviction  or   anything  that  would  make  it                                                               
challenging for him to continue to serve on the commission.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOSTER responded no.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:37:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL   raised  the  US   Supreme  Court  case   on  sex                                                               
discrimination  in Bostock  v. Clayton  County. He  said that  US                                                               
Supreme  Court   Justice  Gorsuch  wrote  in   his  opinion  that                                                               
discrimination  on  the basis  of  sexual  orientation or  gender                                                               
identity is  by its very  definition discrimination on  the basis                                                               
of  sex.  He  asked  if  he would  have  any  issue  interpreting                                                               
Alaska's human  rights law in the  way that the US  Supreme Court                                                               
ruled.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOSTER answered that he viewed  his role as a commissioner to                                                               
uphold the state's laws.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:38:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL clarified  that the US Supreme Court  ruled on what                                                               
the   terms   mean.   Alaska's   Human   Rights   law   prohibits                                                               
discrimination in housing and employment  on the basis of sex. He                                                               
asked  if he  has a  different interpretation  of the  US Supreme                                                               
Court's ruling.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. FOSTER answered no. He  explained that the legislature enacts                                                               
laws and the commission enforces them.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:39:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD said she was  impressed with his resume. She asked                                                               
if he had any specific goals.  She related that she attended East                                                               
High School,  which is a  diverse school.  She said that  she has                                                               
never seen discrimination  as a big problem in  Alaska. She asked                                                               
if he had a particular focus for the Human Rights Commission.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FOSTER  answered no.  He  clarified  that he  was  generally                                                               
speaking about  the cases the  commission hears. He  related that                                                               
the commission could help provide training to organizations.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:41:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES referred  to human rights issues. She  asked if he                                                               
observed  anything  during  his  time  in  China  that  might  be                                                               
applicable.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FOSTER  answered no.  He  explained  that Trident  Seafood's                                                               
customers  had  a  strict  auditing  process  that  held  Chinese                                                               
factories to a high ethical standard.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES said  she  has seen  reports  about human  rights                                                               
violations by  other employers in  China. She clarified  that she                                                               
did not mean to suggest that Trident Seafoods had issues.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:43:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REBECCA CARRILLO,  Appointee, State Commission for  Human Rights,                                                               
Office of the Governor, Juneau, Alaska,  said she is a nurse with                                                               
clinical practice experience. She  worked for the Alaska Division                                                               
of  Public Health  for over  30 years.  She provided  services in                                                               
public health  to low-income  families in  communities throughout                                                               
Alaska. She  said she worked  to ensure equal access  to services                                                               
and  employment  opportunities.  She expressed  her  interest  in                                                               
serving to  fulfill her  civic duties  and contribute  to shaping                                                               
the  local community.  She  said the  overarching  goal of  human                                                               
rights   is  to   recognize  the   inherent  dignity   and  equal                                                               
unalienable  rights  of  all  members of  the  human  family.  It                                                               
provides the  foundation of  freedom, justice,  and peace  in the                                                               
world.  She said  she brings  to the  board her  life experiences                                                               
that  have taught  her  lessons  in tolerance.  Growing  up in  a                                                               
third-world country she has experienced  how to adapt to cultural                                                               
aspects  different from  her  own,  which could  help  her be  an                                                               
effective commission member.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:47:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   KIEHL  stated   the   US  Supreme   Court  ruled   that                                                               
discrimination  on  the basis  of  sexual  orientation or  gender                                                               
identity is  by its definition  considered discrimination  on the                                                               
basis  of  sex. He  asked  if  she was  comfortable  interpreting                                                               
Alaska's law in accordance with this ruling.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARRILLO responded  that  she was  comfortable  with the  US                                                               
Supreme Court's interpretation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:48:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER asked  if she has anything in  her background that                                                               
would be  problematic, such as  criminal convictions  or anything                                                               
that could be perceived as a skeleton in her closet.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARRILLO answered no.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:49:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES noted  she has 36 years of  experience in nursing.                                                               
She briefly reviewed her community  service and work history. She                                                               
commended her work ethic.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:50:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD remarked  that she brings her  global knowledge to                                                               
the commission.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:52:03 PM                                                                                                                    
EVLYN FALZERANO,  Appointee, State  Commission for  Human Rights,                                                               
Office of  the Governor, Anchorage,  Alaska, said she grew  up in                                                               
the  Philippines and  moved to  Anchorage in  2001. She  said she                                                               
works hard  and wants  to help people.  She stated  that spending                                                               
time in the  Middle East gave her a broad  background. She stated                                                               
her interest in serving to give back to her country and Alaska.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:56:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER  stated  he  thinks  her  experiences  living  in                                                               
different countries gives her a  unique perspective. He asked her                                                               
if  she  has anything  in  her  background,  such as  arrests  or                                                               
convictions  that  would  hinder  her ability  to  serve  on  the                                                               
commission.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FALZERANO answered no.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:58:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   KIEHL  stated   the   US  Supreme   Court  ruled   that                                                               
discrimination  on  the basis  of  sexual  orientation or  gender                                                               
identity is  by its definition  considered discrimination  on the                                                               
basis  of  sex. He  asked  if  she was  comfortable  interpreting                                                               
Alaska's law in accordance with this ruling.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FALZERANO  answered she was  comfortable with the  US Supreme                                                               
Court's ruling.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:59:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   REINBOLD  opened   public  testimony   and  after   first                                                               
determining no one wished to  testify, closed public testimony on                                                               
the confirmation hearings for Kyle  Foster, Rebecca Carrillo, and                                                               
Evelyn Falzerano.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:00:03 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:00:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD reconvened the meeting.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:01:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  moved  to  the  confirmation  hearings  for  the                                                               
Violent Crimes Compensation Board.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:02:19 PM                                                                                                                    
BOB   URATA,  Appointee,   Violent  Crimes   Compensation  Board,                                                               
Department of Administration, Juneau,  Alaska, said he was raised                                                               
in  Wrangell,  and  attended medical  school  through  the  WWAMI                                                               
[Washington,  Wyoming, Alaska,  Montana, and  Idaho] program.  He                                                               
stated he  practiced medicine  in Juneau for  36 years.  He would                                                               
like to  serve on the  Violent Crimes Compensation Board  to give                                                               
back  to  his   community  and  state.  He   explained  that  his                                                               
experience  and  insight  as  a physician  may  help  victims  of                                                               
violent crimes  recover and heal.  He said  he does not  have any                                                               
skeletons in his closet and he does not have a criminal record.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:03:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD said she supports his confirmation to the board.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:04:34 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG  BRINGHURST, Appointee,  Violent Crimes  Compensation Board,                                                               
Department  of Administration,  Fairbanks, Alaska,  said he  is a                                                               
lifelong Alaskan.  He stated  he currently  serves as  the public                                                               
member on the  board and seeks reappointment.  He advised members                                                               
that he was a  victim of a violent crime. He  stated that when he                                                               
was  14  years   old,  his  mother  was   murdered.  He  received                                                               
compensation from the Violent Crimes  Compensation Board. He used                                                               
the funds to  attend college. He stated he took  steps to enter a                                                               
career  field  in  public  policy.  He  currently  works  as  the                                                               
Fairbanks  regional  director  and  advisor for  US  Senator  Dan                                                               
Sullivan. He  previously worked as  a policy aide for  US Senator                                                               
Lisa Murkowski. He stated that  his policy background gives him a                                                               
good understanding of  the board's purpose. He would  like to use                                                               
his background to serve victims during their time of need.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:07:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  asked if he  has any  skeletons in his  closet or                                                               
any arrests or  convictions that would arise  during a background                                                               
check.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRINGHURST answered no. He said that nothing comes to mind.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:09:21 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE  HELZER,  Appointee,   Violent  Crimes  Compensation  Board,                                                               
Department of  Administration, Anchorage, Alaska, said  she feels                                                               
humbled to  serve on the  Violent Crimes Compensation  Board. She                                                               
stated that  she is an  attorney and serves on  another volunteer                                                               
board  and  has worked  for  other  volunteer organizations.  She                                                               
stated she  has previously assisted  victims as an  advocate. She                                                               
related  that  she  seeks to  deliver  compassion,  honesty,  and                                                               
integrity in everything that she  does. She offered her view that                                                               
she would bring her strengths  of understanding and compassion to                                                               
the  board. She  spoke to  Senator Shower's  general question  to                                                               
applicants by  stating she  does not have  a criminal  record and                                                               
has  not done  anything  she thinks  she needs  to  bring to  the                                                               
committee's attention.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:11:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   REINBOLD  opened   public  testimony   and  after   first                                                               
determining no one wished to  testify, closed public testimony on                                                               
the  confirmation hearings  for Bob  Urata, Greg  Bringhurst, and                                                               
Anne Helzer.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:12:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REINBOLD solicited a motion.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:12:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER stated  that in accordance with  AS 39.05.080, the                                                               
Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee  reviewed the  following and                                                               
recommends the appointments  be forwarded to a  joint session for                                                               
consideration:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                             
Kyle Foster - Anchorage                                                                                                         
Rebecca Carrillo - Auke Bay                                                                                                     
Evelyn Falzerano - Anchorage                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                                                                             
Greg Bringhurst - Fairbanks                                                                                                     
Robert "Bob" Urata - Juneau                                                                                                     
Anne Helzer - Anchorage                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Signing  the   reports  regarding  appointments  to   boards  and                                                               
commissions in  no way reflects  individual members'  approval or                                                               
disapproval  of  the  appointees;   the  nominations  are  merely                                                               
forwarded to the full legislature for confirmation or rejection.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:13:19 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                     SB 90-ELECTRONIC WILLS                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:16:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   REINBOLD    reconvened   the   meeting    and   announced                                                               
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."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:16:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MYERS,  speaking as  sponsor,  said  SB 90  would  allow                                                               
people to sign their wills electronically.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:18:09 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSIAH   NASH,  Staff,   Senator  Robert   Myers,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, on behalf of  the sponsor, provided                                                               
the sponsor statement  and sectional analysis for SB  90. He read                                                               
the sponsor statement:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     In Alaska,  all wills except handwritten  wills must be                                                                    
     executed   in-person  with   at  least   two  witnesses                                                                    
     present.  Current state  probate  legislation does  not                                                                    
     account  for  the  remote  signing  and  witnessing  of                                                                    
     wills. This  can make it  difficult for the  elderly or                                                                    
     those with  little resources to plan  their estate. The                                                                    
     COVID-19   pandemic   has   exacerbated   circumstances                                                                    
     surrounding  traditional  estate planning.  The  public                                                                    
     closure  of  the  state's Pioneer  Homes  and  assisted                                                                    
     living  homes  has  isolated many  seniors  from  these                                                                    
     services. Additional  legislation is required  to bring                                                                    
     tools utilized  throughout the pandemic, such  as video                                                                    
     conferencing, to the estate planning process.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     SB 90  aims to fill  the gap in probate  legislation by                                                                    
     allowing  the  electronic  signing  and  witnessing  of                                                                    
     wills. This bill enables individuals  to draft and sign                                                                    
     a  will  on a  computer,  tablet,  or other  electronic                                                                    
     device. Witnesses  can also observe the  execution of a                                                                    
     will through a video and audio  link and do not need to                                                                    
     be    physically    present.    These    reforms    and                                                                    
     modernizations will bring  additional accessibility and                                                                    
     connectivity  to  a state  that  has  many small  rural                                                                    
     communities out of the reach of the road system.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     As Alaska moves towards the  future, so should our will                                                                    
     and probate process                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:19:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. NASH read the sectional analysis of the title:                                                                              
     Section 1.                                                                                                               
     A will  is defined  as a document  that directs  how an                                                                    
     individual's property should  be distributed or managed                                                                    
     after  their  death.  This definition  is  expanded  to                                                                    
     include an electronic will.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2.                                                                                                               
     Electronic  presence   is  defined   as  two   or  more                                                                    
     individuals in multiple  locations with technology that                                                                    
     enables these individuals to  maintain audio and visual                                                                    
     contact and  communicate. This definition  includes the                                                                    
     communication  between individuals  who have  a visual,                                                                    
     hearing,   or  speech   impairment.  Additionally,   an                                                                    
     electronic will  is defined as  a will  with electronic                                                                    
     text and/or  the electronic  signature of  the testator                                                                    
     or a witness.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3.                                                                                                               
     A will disposing of personal  property in any location,                                                                    
     or real property located in  Alaska, made in or outside                                                                    
     of Alaska  by a resident  or non-resident of  the state                                                                    
     where the property is located,  is valid and admissible                                                                    
     to probate in  Alaska if the will is  a record readable                                                                    
     as  text at  the  time  of signing  and  signed by  the                                                                    
     testator  and  executed under  the  local  law of  this                                                                    
     state,   the  jurisdiction   where  the   testator  was                                                                    
     physically present  when they  signed the will,  or the                                                                    
     jurisdiction where  the testator  lived, either  at the                                                                    
     time of the execution of the will or at death.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:20:59 PM                                                                                                                    
     Section 4.                                                                                                               
     Except  as  provided  in  several  instances  in  other                                                                    
     sections of the statutes, a  will must be a record that                                                                    
     is readable as  text at time of signing,  signed by the                                                                    
     testator or signed in their  name by another individual                                                                    
     who is taking direction from  the testator and in their                                                                    
     physical  or  electronic  presence, and  signed  by  at                                                                    
     least  two  individuals  who are  in  the  physical  or                                                                    
     electronic  presence of  the testator  at  the time  of                                                                    
     signing  and  sign  within   a  reasonable  time  after                                                                    
     witnessing the  signing of the  will or  the testator's                                                                    
     acknowledgment of that signature.  A will that does not                                                                    
     comply   with  these   requirements  is   valid  as   a                                                                    
     holographic  will without  any  witnesses if  signature                                                                    
     and   material   portions   are   in   the   testator's                                                                    
     handwriting or readable as text.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5.                                                                                                               
     This  section contains  an oath  for  the testator  and                                                                    
     witnesses  of  a will  to  proclaim  before an  officer                                                                    
     authorized to administer the oath  of laws of the state                                                                    
     where the testator is physically present.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
      This section contains  an oath similar to the oath  in                                                                    
      Sec. 5  but is for use  after the execution of a  will                                                                    
      to retroactively self-prove it.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
      Section 6.                                                                                                              
      This section contains an oath similar to the oath in                                                                      
      Sec. 5 but is for use after the execution of a will                                                                       
      to retroactively self-prove it.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
      Section 7.                                                                                                              
      Except  as   provided  in   another  section  of   the                                                                    
      statutes, a  will is valid  if executed in  compliance                                                                    
      with the  law at  the time of  execution of the  place                                                                    
      where the will  is executed, which is the place  where                                                                    
      the testator  is physically present while signing  the                                                                    
      will,  or the  laws of  the place  where the  testator                                                                    
      abodes at time of death.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
      Section 8.                                                                                                              
      A will or a section of a will  is revoked by executing                                                                    
      another will that overwrites the previous  will, or by                                                                    
      the testator destroying or deleting the  will themself                                                                    
      or with the aid of another individual  acting at their                                                                    
      direction.                                                                                                                
2:22:41 PM                                                                                                                    
      Section 9.                                                                                                              
      An individual can  make a paper copy of their will  by                                                                    
      taking an oath that copy is true and  accurate. If the                                                                    
      will is self-proving, the copy must  include the self-                                                                    
      proving affidavits.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
      Section 10.                                                                                                             
       A petition to the court to determine whether a trust                                                                     
       is valid and enforceable before a settlor's death                                                                        
       must contain:                                                                                                            
         1. A statement that a copy (may be electronic                                                                          
             copy)  of  the will  has  been  filed with  the                                                                    
             court.                                                                                                             
          2. A statement that the will is in writing or is                                                                      
             an electronic will.                                                                                                
          3. A statement that the will was signed by the                                                                        
             testator  or  by   another  individual  at  the                                                                    
             testator's   direction  in   the  physical   or                                                                    
             electronic presence of the testator.                                                                               
          4. In the case of a witnessed will, a statement                                                                       
             that  the  will  was  signed by  at  least  two                                                                    
             individuals,  each  of  whom  signed  within  a                                                                    
             reasonable amount of  time after witnessing the                                                                    
             singing   of   the   will   or   the   testator                                                                    
             acknowledgment of the signature on the will.                                                                       
          5. In the case of a holographic will, a statement that                                                                
             the signature and material portions are in the                                                                     
             testator's handwriting or a record readable as                                                                     
             text.                                                                                                              
          6. A statement that the will is executed with the                                                                     
             testator's intent.                                                                                                 
          7. A statement that the testator had legal and mental                                                                 
             capacity.                                                                                                          
          8. A statement that the testator was free from                                                                        
             undue influence and duress.                                                                                        
         9. A statement that the will was not executed                                                                          
             fraudulently or mistakenly.                                                                                        
          10. Names and addresses of the testator,                                                                              
              testator's   spouse,    testator's   children,                                                                    
              testator's   heirs,  personal   representative                                                                    
              nominated in the will, and  the devices of the                                                                    
              will.                                                                                                             
          11. If minors, the ages of the testator's                                                                             
              children,   the  testator's  heirs,   and  the                                                                    
              devisees  under the will,  as far as  known or                                                                    
              ascertainable  with  reasonable  diligence  by                                                                    
              the petitioner.                                                                                                   
          12. A statement that the will has not been                                                                            
              revoked of modified.                                                                                              
         13. A statement that the testator is familiar                                                                          
              with the contents of the will.                                                                                    
2:24:46 PM                                                                                                                    
     Section 11.                                                                                                              
        Applications for  informal  probate  or  appointment                                                                    
        shall be directed to  the registrar and  verified by                                                                    
        the applicant  to be  true to  the applicant's  best                                                                    
        knowledge as to the following information:                                                                              
      1. Every application for informal probate of a will                                                                       
          or for informal appointment of a personal                                                                             
          representative other than a special or successor                                                                      
          representative, must contain the following.                                                                           
          a. A statement of interest of the applicant.                                                                          
         b. The name and age of the decedent, decedent                                                                          
             death date,  the  judicial  district,  and  the                                                                    
             state of the decedent's domicile at the time of                                                                    
             death, and  the  names  and  addresses  of  the                                                                    
             spouse, children, heirs, and  devisees and ages                                                                    
             of  any  who  are   minors  ascertainable  with                                                                    
             reasonable diligence by the applicant.                                                                             
2:25:50 PM                                                                                                                    
          c. If decedent was not living in the state at the                                                                     
             time of death, a statement showing venue.                                                                          
         d. A statement identifying the address of any                                                                          
             personal   representative   of   the   decedent                                                                    
             appointed in  this  state  of  elsewhere  whose                                                                    
             appointment has not been terminated.                                                                               
          e. A statement indicating whether the applicant                                                                       
             has  received  a   demand  for  notice  of  any                                                                    
             probate  or  appointment proceeding  concerning                                                                    
             the decedent  that may have been  filed in this                                                                    
             state or elsewhere.                                                                                                
          f. A statement that the time limit for informal                                                                       
             probate  has not  expired either  because three                                                                    
             years or  less have passed,  that circumstances                                                                    
             as  described  by   the  statutes,  authorizing                                                                    
             tardy probate or appointment have occurred.                                                                        
        2. An application for informal probate of a will                                                                        
           must state the following in addition to the                                                                          
           aforementioned statements:                                                                                           
           a. Original of the decedent's will or a paper                                                                        
              copy of the will is in the possession of the                                                                      
              court, or accompanies the application, or that                                                                    
              an authenticated copy or a will probated in                                                                       
              another jurisdiction accompanies the                                                                              
              application.                                                                                                      
          b. To the best of the applicant's knowledge,                                                                          
             believes   the  will   to  have   been  validly                                                                    
             executed.                                                                                                          
         c. After the exercise of reasonable diligence,                                                                         
             the applicant is unaware of and instrument                                                                         
           revoking the will, and that the applicant                                                                            
             believes  that  the  instrument   that  is  the                                                                    
             subject of  the application  is the  decedent's                                                                    
             will.                                                                                                              
2:27:19 PM                                                                                                                    
        3. Application for informal appointment of a                                                                            
           personal representative  to administer  an estate                                                                    
           under a will  must describe  the will by  date of                                                                    
           signing and state  the time and place  of probate                                                                    
           or  the  pending  application   or  petition  for                                                                    
           probate. Application  for appointment  must adopt                                                                    
           the statements in the application or petition for                                                                    
           probate and  sate the  name address  and priority                                                                    
           for appointment of  the person  whose appointment                                                                    
           is sought.                                                                                                           
        4. An application for informal appointment of an                                                                        
           administer in intestacy must state in addition to                                                                    
           the  statements  required   by  section   one  as                                                                    
           aforementioned.                                                                                                      
           a. After reasonable diligence, the applicant is                                                                      
             unaware   of    any   unrevoked    testamentary                                                                    
             instrument relating to property  having a situs                                                                    
             in this state under statutes,  or statement why                                                                    
             any such instrument of which  the applicant may                                                                    
             be aware is not being probated.                                                                                    
          b. Priority of the person whose appointment is                                                                        
             sought and  the  names  of  any  other  persons                                                                    
             having prior or equal right to the appointment.                                                                    
2:28:35 PM                                                                                                                    
        5. Application for appointment of a personal                                                                            
          representative     to    succeed     a    personal                                                                    
          representative   appointed   under   a   different                                                                    
          testacy  status must  refer to  the  order in  the                                                                    
          most  recent testacy  proceeding. The  application                                                                    
          must  state the  name  and address  of the  person                                                                    
          whose  appointment is  sought  and  of the  person                                                                    
          whose  appointment  will   be  terminated  if  the                                                                    
          application is  granted and describe  the priority                                                                    
          of the applicant.                                                                                                     
        6. Application for appointment of a personal                                                                            
          representative     to    succeed     a    personal                                                                    
          representative who  has tendered a  resignation as                                                                    
          provided  in the  statutes,  or whose  appointment                                                                    
          has  been terminated  by  death  or removal,  must                                                                    
          adopt  the   statements  in  the   application  or                                                                    
          petition  that  led  to the  appointment  of  that                                                                    
          person  being  succeeded  except  as  specifically                                                                    
          changed  or corrected.  They must  state the  name                                                                    
          and address  of the  person who  seeks appointment                                                                    
          as  successor and  describe  the  priority of  the                                                                    
          applicant.                                                                                                            
2:29:37 PM                                                                                                                    
     Section 12.                                                                                                              
     In  an informal  proceeding for  original probate  of a                                                                    
     will,  the  registrar   shall  determine  whether:  the                                                                    
     application is  complete; the  applicant has  made oath                                                                    
     or  affirmation   and  that   the  statements   in  the                                                                    
     application are  true; the  applicant appears  from the                                                                    
     application to  be an interested  person; the  venue is                                                                    
     proper; on original or a  paper copy, of the decedent's                                                                    
     executed  and  unrevoked  will is  in  the  registrar's                                                                    
     possession;  any notice  required by  the statutes  has                                                                    
     been given  and that the application  expressly revokes                                                                    
     the  earlier  application;  and  it  appears  from  the                                                                    
     application  that  the  time  limit  for  the  original                                                                    
     probate has not expired.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 13.                                                                                                              
     Petitions  for  formal  probate   of  a  will,  or  for                                                                    
     adjunction  of intestacy  with or  without request  for                                                                    
     appointment  of  a  personal  representative,  must  be                                                                    
     directed to  the court, request a  judicial order after                                                                    
     notice and  hearing, and contain further  statements as                                                                    
     indicated  in  this  section.  A  petition  for  formal                                                                    
     probate  of a  will must:  request an  order as  to the                                                                    
     testacy  of the  decedent in  relation to  a particular                                                                    
     instrument which  may or may  not have  been informally                                                                    
     probated and determining  the heirs; contain statements                                                                    
     required  for informal  applications as  stated in  the                                                                    
     statutes; and  state whether an original  or paper copy                                                                    
     of the  will of  the decedent is  in the  possession of                                                                    
     the court or accompanies the petition.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 14.                                                                                                              
     If the original will or a  paper copy is neither is the                                                                    
     possession of  the court  nor accompanies  the petition                                                                    
     and  no  authenticated  copy  of  a  will  probated  in                                                                    
     another  jurisdiction  accompanies  the  petition,  the                                                                    
     petition also must state the  contents of the will, and                                                                    
     indicate  that  it  is lost,  destroyed,  or  otherwise                                                                    
     unavailable.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 15.                                                                                                              
       This Act applies to a will that is executed on or                                                                        
     after the effective date of this Act. In this section,                                                                     
     "will" has the meaning given in AS 13.06.050.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.                                                                                                              
     This act takes place immediately.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:32:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MYERS  said this  bill would allow  people to  sign their                                                               
wills  remotely. He  expressed  his interest  in preserving  that                                                               
concept  as the  bill goes  through the  process but  anticipated                                                               
some minor changes would be made.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:33:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER  referred  to  the language  in  Section  4  that                                                               
establishes  a reasonable  time after  witnessing the  signing of                                                               
the will. He asked for clarification of what that meant.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. NASH answered that he would  research this and report back to                                                               
the committee.  He said  that language is  existing law  and does                                                               
not change in the bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHOWER referred  to Section  6.  He asked  how to  avoid                                                               
coercion from occurring. He asked  how these changes comport with                                                               
other states' laws and if it will create any conflicts.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MYERS answered  that this bill is based  on language from                                                               
the Uniform Law  Commission. He related that  similar language is                                                               
being considered  in 30  states. He  reported that  another dozen                                                               
states have  already addressed this  by executive order.  He said                                                               
he  did  not  anticipate  any  interstate  issues  to  arise.  He                                                               
deferred to his staff to respond to duress or coercion.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:37:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  NASH   related  his  understanding  that   current  law  has                                                               
procedures for  asserting duress.  He deferred to  Mr. Blattmachr                                                               
to further respond.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER  asked the  sponsor to report  back on  what other                                                               
states are doing.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:39:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MATTHEW  BLATTMACHR,  Attorney,  Peak Trust  Company,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska,  answered  that  current  law  has  remedies  if  someone                                                               
believes  duress  is  occurring  when   a  will  is  signed.  One                                                               
requirement of any witness is  to exercise his/her judgment as to                                                               
if duress  exists, he said.  The person executing the  will would                                                               
need  to  make  the  witnesses  comfortable  that  no  duress  or                                                               
coercion  exists.  This  bill does  not  provide  any  additional                                                               
remedy. He  said he is  not aware  of any additional  remedies in                                                               
any other  state. However, there  is not any erosion  of existing                                                               
rules to combat these concerns.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:41:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER said people can say  they are not under duress but                                                               
it could still happen. He asked  if there was anything that might                                                               
provide some level of security.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLATTMACHR acknowledged that  he raises a legitimate concern.                                                               
He related that the group that  drafted this bill and the Uniform                                                               
Law Commission has thought this  through. He said some things are                                                               
unique to  Alaska so it may  be possible to address  his concern.                                                               
However, nothing  currently addresses  this issue for  wills that                                                               
must  be witnessed  in  person.  He said,  "There  is no  perfect                                                               
remedy for  stopping bad  actors." He  agreed that  under current                                                               
law someone could  be put under duress. He  offered a willingness                                                               
to  look   at  creative  solutions.  He   related  that  existing                                                               
protections under Alaska law would also apply to wills.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:43:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   SHOWER  expressed   an   interest   in  obtaining   any                                                               
information on duress.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MYERS offered  to research it further and  report back to                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:44:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  referred to  Section  4  related to  holographic                                                               
wills.  She explained  that holographic  wills are  ones where  a                                                               
person  handwrites  his/her will  while  alone.  This bill  would                                                               
allow this  to be readable as  text. She could envision  an image                                                               
of a  holographic will being  used but cautioned against  using a                                                               
typed document,  which could be  typed by someone other  than the                                                               
person  writing  his/her  will. She  asked  for  protections  and                                                               
clarification.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. NASH said the sponsor also  noticed this and plans to address                                                               
it. He offered to research it further.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:46:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BLATTMACHR responded that the  intent of the language, "[(1)]                                                               
a record  that is readable  as text ...,"  refers to text  on any                                                               
electronic device, or  a printed piece of  paper. The holographic                                                               
will is different  than an electronic will in the  sense that the                                                               
holographic will is verbally dictated.  The electronic will would                                                               
be documented albeit electronically via  text. He deferred to Ms.                                                               
O'Connor, one of the principal drafters of the bill, to respond.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:47:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES related her understanding  that a holographic will                                                               
is  one that  could be  verbally dictated  but it  could also  be                                                               
handwritten.  She stated  the language  read  "in the  testator's                                                               
writing or  readable as a text."  She surmised that if  the audio                                                               
were  accompanied  by  a  typed  text,  it  would  be  fine.  She                                                               
expressed  concern that  the typed  text would  be a  holographic                                                               
will. She asked if it must  be accompanied by an audio recording,                                                               
a hand-written document, or an image of a handwritten document.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLATTMACHR  explained that the  text from an  electronic will                                                               
would have  to be witnessed.  Whether it was orally  dictated and                                                               
recorded via text, it would  become an electronic will that would                                                               
require the  witness. He suggested  that may address part  of her                                                               
concern.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:48:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  stated that a  holographic will is one  that does                                                               
not  require signature  witnesses. For  example, if  someone were                                                               
dying alone at a cabin and hand  wrote his/her will on a piece of                                                               
paper it  would be  honored as  a will. She  asked if  Alaska has                                                               
that provision.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLATTMACHR answered  yes. He offered to  discuss this outside                                                               
of the  committee or  to have  Ms. O'Connor  respond at  a future                                                               
meeting rather than to add confusion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:49:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REINBOLD  agreed  that  was  an  important  issue  to  get                                                               
resolved.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:50:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL acknowledged  that not every state  has a provision                                                               
for holographic  wills. He referred  to Section  8 of SB  90 that                                                               
provides the ability to revoke  by deleting. He offered that most                                                               
of the acts  in this section that physically revoke  the will are                                                               
easily understood.  If a person  were to burn his/her  will, tear                                                               
it  up,  or  write  the  word   "cancel"  on  it,  it  is  easily                                                               
understood.  However, an  electronic  file  may contain  multiple                                                               
copies and  the person  could delete one  but another  file would                                                               
still exist,  or the person  could decide to delete  his/her copy                                                               
after  having  e-mailed  it  to his/her  children.  He  asked  if                                                               
deleting a document provides evidence of an intent to revoke of                                                                 
if it must be done through an online will service or if the                                                                     
person could delete it and confirm that action via an email.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NASH offered to research this and respond back to the                                                                       
committee. He related his understanding that other states use a                                                                 
service or law firm.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:52:40 PM                                                                                                                    
[SB 90 was held in committee.]                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:54:03 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Reinbold adjourned the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                
meeting at 2:54 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Resumes for Alaska State Commission for Human Rights.pdf SJUD 3/3/2021 1:30:00 PM
Resumes-Alaska State Commission For Human Rights
Resumes for Violent Crimes Compensation Board.pdf SJUD 3/3/2021 1:30:00 PM
Resumes for Violent Crimes Compensation Board
SB90 Sectional Analysis.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 Supporting Documentation Electronic Wills Research.pdf SJUD 3/3/2021 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90A.PDF SJUD 3/3/2021 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/17/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 90