"Keeping our trust statutes current has had a direct positive impact on our state's economy."
- Sen. Seekins
An Act relating to the Uniform Probate Code and trusts, including pleadings, orders, nonprobate assets, estates of decedents, minors, protected persons, incapacitated persons, guardians, conservators, trustees, foreign trusts, principal and income, and transfer restrictions; relating to corporate voting trusts; and providing for an effective date.
A vital characteristic of any highly developed economy is the ease with which financial resources flow from one market to another. In fact, the magnet-like attraction between money and the market that offers the most advantageous terms at a particular moment in time is, perhaps, best demonstrated within the financial services industry itself.
Over the years, the Alaskan banking industry has attracted funds to our state as a result of a particular niche we have successfully developed in an obscure corner of the industry known as trust and estate services. Much of this success can be attributed to the prescience demonstrated by the Alaska State Legislature.
Since 1997 this body has passed numerous bills effectively making Alaska a premier jurisdiction for this financial specialty. Just last year Senate Bill 87 adopted a more recent version of the Uniform Principal & Income Act. And House Bill 212 updated other portions of Alaska's trust laws. Both were signed into law last summer.
While Senate Bill 344 may not be as far reaching, it accomplishes much the same purpose. It does this by making a host of small technical revisions to current statutes. It updates provisions relating to virtual representation. It clarifies when a trustee can be relieved of liability. And it adds provisions which other jurisdictions have already adopted.
Keeping our trust statutes current has had a direct positive impact on our state's economy. Over the years, these periodic revisions have helped to bring hundreds of millions of dollars of trust assets into the state and added tens of millions of dollars to local bank deposits. Furthermore, it has increased business activity for attorneys, accountants, life insurance agents and brokerage firms. This, in turn, creates jobs.
Necessity, ingenuity and routine advances in technology collaborate on a daily basis to reinvent the world of financial products and services. To date, Alaska has successfully staked out a place in this world through our contemporary set of trust and estate laws. Senate Bill 344 seeks to preserve our position in what amounts to a highly fluid marketplace unrestricted by geographical boundaries. It seems reasonable to keep that money flowing this direction.