Under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and Alaska law, CIRI stock is treated differently than other property upon the death of the owner. The law requires that CIRI follow, and be responsible for, special estate settlement procedures in distributing CIRI stock rather than routine probate court proceedings.
Additionally, Alaska law authorizes corporations to institute requirements that limit the transfer and issuance of shareholder stock to whole shares. After careful analysis, CIRI’s Board of Directors established a policy, effective June 1, 2012, to freeze CIRI’s existing share fractions by: 1) prohibiting share fractions from being further divided; and 2) prohibiting single shares from being split. To effectuate this policy, procedures have been implemented such that, in settling CIRI stock estates, existing share fractions are distributed to only one recipient and any additional stock is distributed in whole shares only.
As the first step in the estate settlement process, CIRI must determine whether there is a will governing the disposition of the stock. In the absence of a valid will, CIRI must identify the heirs as provided under Alaska law, which provides a formula for distributing CIRI stock to specific members of the deceased shareholder’s family. Once CIRI has determined how the stock will pass, it is required to document that the persons to whom shares are distributed are entitled to receive them. This can be a lengthy process because even though one person might respond promptly to our requests, other persons or agencies may not.
The death of a loved one can be overwhelming to family and friends. How can you help? By taking a few minutes today to complete a CIRI Stock Will if you have not yet done so.
The CIRI Stock Will form and instructions may be downloaded from this website or requested from the Shareholder Relations Department. Alternatively, a bequest of CIRI stock may be made in a General Will. It is important to note, however, that an earlier CIRI Stock Will controls the transfer of the stock unless a later-dated General Will specifically identifies and disposes of the CIRI stock. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- CIRI recommends that shareholders consider the Company’s fractional share policy when completing a will for their CIRI shares by not naming heirs in a way that would require existing share fractions and/or whole shares to be split.
- Notaries are available in the CIRI Shareholder Relations Department and at your local bank. In Alaska, village postmasters are also authorized to act as a notary.
- CIRI urges shareholders to update their wills after giving or receiving a gift of stock, upon the death of a designated beneficiary or if additional shares are inherited. Marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of children and other life changes are also reasons to complete a new will.
Answers to many frequently asked questions pertaining to CIRI Stock Wills and estate settlements are available in the CIRI estate settlement process brochure. If you have any other questions, please contact the CIRI Shareholder Relations probate staff at (907) 263-5191 or toll-free at (800) 764-2474.