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Who Are Next Of Kin In Alaska?

The term “next of kin” in Alaska is often used synonymously with the term “heirs at law” for purposes of intestate succession, i.e., when someone dies without a valid will.  Next of kin heirs in Alaska are:

  1. Surviving spouse
  2. Descendants
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Grandparents


Alaska intestate succession law governs the distribution of a decedent’s probate assets when there is no valid will or if some of decedent’s property is not validly disposed of under the will.

What Next Of Kin Inherit In Alaska?

The next of kin heirs at law that are in line to inherit under Alaska’s laws of intestate succession depend on the other people that survived the decedent.  The relatives more closely related to the decedent will inherit prior to more remote relatives.

Survivors Of Decedent

Share of Intestate Estate

Spouse only

–          Spouse inherits entire estate

Spouse and all shared descendants of spouse and decedent

–          Spouse inherits entire estate

Spouse and all shared descendants but spouse has at least one descendant from another relationship

–          Spouse inherits $150,000 and ½ of the balance

–          Descendants inherit remaining ½ of the balance

Spouse and one or more descendants of another relationship

–          Spouse inherits $100,000 and ½ of the balance

–          Descendants inherit remaining ½ of the balance

Spouse and both parents, no descendants

–          Spouse inherits $200,00 and ¾ of the balance

–          Each parent inherits 1/8 of the balance

Descendants, no spouse

–          Descendants inherit entire estate

Parent(s), no descendants, no spouse

–          Parents inherit entire estate (1/2 to each parent if both survive, or all to surviving parent)

Parent’s descendants (siblings), no spouse, descendants, or parents

–          Siblings inherit entire estate

Grandparents, no siblings, spouse, descendants, or parents

–          Estate divided equally between paternal and maternal grandparents

–          If only one set of grandparents survives, inherit entire estate


The laws of intestate succession in Alaska can be found at Alaska Statutes §§ 13.12.102 (spouse’s share) and 13.12.103 (share of heirs other than surviving spouse).

What Do Next Of Kin Heirs Inherit Under Alaska Intestate Succession Law?

Next of kin heirs at law inherit from a decedent’s probate estate.  Non-probate assets, such as bank accounts with pay-on-death beneficiaries and most life insurance benefits, are not included in a decedent’s probate estate for distribution under Alaska law.  Learn more about probate and non-probate assets with the Probate and Non-Probate Assets Chart.

Can Half-Blood Relatives Inherit As Next Of Kin In Alaska?

Yes. Any next of kin heir related by half blood to the intestate decedent inherits the same share as a whole blood relative under Alaska intestate inheritance law.

Survivorship Period of 120 Hours In Alaska

Under Alaska law, in order for a next of kin intestate heir to inherit under intestate succession, they must survive the decedent by 120 hours.  If a next of kin heir does not survive the decedent by 120 hours, they are considered to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of intestate succession.  See Alaska Statutes § 13.12.104.

Can the State of Alaska Inherit a Decedent’s Property?

Yes, but it is very rare for the state of Alaska to inherit from a decedent’s intestate estate.  If a decedent had no surviving spouse, descendants, parents, descendants of parents, grandparents, or descendants of grandparents, only then would a decedent’s intestate estate pass to the state of Alaska.   See Alaska Statutes § 13.12.105.