When a CIRI Shareholder passes away, their CIRI stock enters a legal process called “probate,” which guides CIRI in transferring the Shareholder’s CIRI stock to the correct individual(s) or entity(ies) legally entitled to receive it based on ANCSA and Alaska law.
You may report the death of a CIRI Shareholder by contacting CIRI’s probate staff at (907) 263-5540 or toll-free at (833) 263-5136 and selecting Option 1.
P.O. Box 93330
Anchorage, AK 99509-3330
725 E Fireweed Lane, Suite 800
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: (907) 263-5540 or (833)-263-5136 – toll-free
Fax: (907) 263-5186
Frequently Asked Questions
Please contact CIRI’s probate staff at (907) 263-5540 or toll-free at (833) 263-5136 and select Option 1 to report the death of a CIRI Shareholder.
Questions regarding any part of the estate process or status should be directed to CIRI’s probate staff at (907) 263-5540 or toll-free at (833) 263-5136. We strive to return any voice mails within 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.
The settlement of an estate can be a lengthy process, usually taking 12-24 months to finish, but often longer for estates with unresolved legal issues.
Under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), CIRI stock is subject to special estate settlement procedures. The stock does not pass through a court proceeding, although the settlement process is like that of an informal probate procedure.
Alaska law governs all ANCSA stock regardless of where the Shareholder resided at the time of his or her death.
CIRI is required to settle CIRI stock (1) in accordance with a valid will, or (2) under Alaska laws of intestate succession if there is not a valid will.
No. The amount cannot be determined until the estate is settled; once determined, the information is provided only to the heirs.
All distributions are held from the time CIRI is notified of a Shareholder’s death until the CIRI stock estate is settled. Held distributions are then distributed to the heirs within 45-60 days after the stock is reissued. Held funds do not earn interest.
Alaska law permits any person claiming rightful ownership of the CIRI stock to bring an independent action in the Alaska Superior Court (opening a probate does not satisfy this requirement). CIRI cannot provide advice in this regard and recommends that interested parties seek the advice of independent legal counsel.
Information about previously settled estates is only released to immediate family members. Requests must be submitted in writing to CIRI’s probate staff at the address below and should include the name of the deceased Shareholder and his/her date of death, together with the requestor’s name, return address and proof of relationship to the deceased. These inquiries are responded to as time allows.
Cook Inlet Region, Inc.
P.O. Box 93330
Anchorage, AK 99509-3330
At several points of the estate settlement process, CIRI will make written requests for information and documents pertaining to the deceased Shareholder, their family and any potential heirs. This may include requests for completion of a family history questionnaire (list of Relatives of Deceased) that must be filled out and returned by a person familiar with the Shareholder’s family as well as for assorted vital and court records (death and birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, wills, etc.).
Note, CIRI requires a certified copy of the death certificate for a deceased Shareholder. CIRI also requires the original or certified copy of the governing will.
CIRI’s estate settlement process takes an average of 12-24 months. Before CIRI transfers stock, the law requires CIRI to obtain certain legal documentation. In the interest of fairness, estates are processed in the order in which this documentation is received. Keep in mind that while one person may have timely responded to requests for information and/or documents, others may not have. When this occurs or CIRI is provided with incomplete information, the settlement process is delayed.
When a Shareholder dies “intestate,” it means they have died without a valid will disposing of his or her CIRI stock. In these cases, Alaska law governs which relatives inherit the shares of stock and CIRI must distribute the shares accordingly.
In accordance with CIRI’s policy regarding fractional shares, if there are not enough shares to distribute to all the intestate heirs in whole shares, the shares are allocated based on the results of a random drawing conducted by CIRI from the names of eligible recipients. In this example, there were enough whole shares to distribute to eight children, whose names were selected by random drawing. A separate drawing was held to determine which of those heirs received the additional half share.