Will Preparation in Anchorage, Alaska

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In Anchorage, Alaska, many of the complications that sometimes come with a will, such as would-be beneficiaries challenging its validity, or devises which don't make it clear who gets what (resulting in costly and time-consuming litigation) can be avoided if the will is well-drafted in the first place.

The process of drafting and executing a will can be very simple with the average estate which has only a moderate amount of assets held in only a few locations (a couple bank accounts, a house, maybe a stock portfolio). This is also true if the decedent simply wants to give their property to a few immediate family members, without setting up a complicated trust arrangement.

But be warned: even a relatively simple will can encounter pitfalls in the drafting process, which can cause problems later on. An accomplished Anchorage, Alaska lawyer will greatly reduce the chances of this happening, if they help you in the process of robust will preparation.

Many problems with wills are due to some of the required formalities not being followed. The formalities involved in drafting and executing a will are not particularly complicated, but they must be scrupulously followed. Otherwise, the will might not be given effect. In most states, the will must include some clear statement that the document is, in fact, the last will and testament of the person making it. It normally must also be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people who do not have any stake in the will.

Holographic Wills in Anchorage, Alaska

In some states, "holographic wills" are valid. A holographic will is written by hand, in the testator's own handwriting. Such will do not need to have any witnesses to be valid.

Holographic wills are usually construed very broadly. Knowing that it was not written by an expert, a court will normally look at the common definition of words, and use other common-sense principles when it comes to interpreting a holographic will. This is necessary to avoid conflicts, and increase the chances that the testator's wishes are honored.

You should know, however, that holographic wills aren't recognized in many states. If you live in one of these states, you're still free to hand write your will, but, in order to be valid, it must be accompanied by all the formalities required by the laws of the state it is made in.

If your state authorizes them, a holographic will might be a good way to go in some cases. For example, if you don't have an unusually large amount of money, and simply want to leave your assets to close family members, or even to a single person (such as a spouse), it probably wouldn't be a problem. However, even in cases like this, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the help of a lawyer.

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How Can A Anchorage, Alaska Lawyer Help?

Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a brilliant Anchorage, Alaska attorney help in making your will. Even if your will is quite simple, and you have all the formalities figured out, it's still easy to make mistakes without a good once-over by a professional.

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Life in Anchorage

Anchorage has been voted an "All America City" four times and makes up over 40% of Alaska's total population. The city motto is "Big Wild Life" and there's plenty of it. A survey found roughly 300 black bears and moose, along side 60 grizzly bears call Anchorage home year round. The numbers of moose increase over 1,000 in the winter months. There are also wolves, foxes, beavers, and all other manner of moderate and small native animals that can be easily spotted in Anchorage. That's why so many people decide to visit Anchorage each year. 

Tourism play a major role in the economy with natural resource extraction, local and federal government, transportation services, and the military. There are two major military installations in Anchorage, Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson, as well as the Kullis Air National Guard Base. In addition to military personnel, the military employs another 8,600 Anchorage civilians. There are a number of airlines headquartered in Anchorage like Alaska Central Express and Hageland Aviation Services but the petroleum industry is one of the most important. Giants like BP and ConocoPhillips have drilling and transportation services in Anchorage that employ thousands of locals.

The International Ice Carving Competition is one aspect to the annual of the Fur Rendezvous Festival held in Anchorage's Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. The festival had a record attendance in 2000 with over 250,000 people visiting. The legendary 9-15 day long Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins ceremonially each year downtown on 4th Street and ends in Nome, Alaska. The race stretches 1,049 miles that are timed. It's known as one of the most intense sporting events due to the distance and blizzards.

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