NEWS: House Approves Bill Originally Crafted by the Late Rep. Max Gruenberg

Rep. Max Gruenberg

Bipartisan Legislation Ensures Valuable Assets Can Remain in Families after the Death of a Loved One

March 23, 2016

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed House Bill 273 to simplify, speed up, and lower the cost of vehicle transfers on death.  HB 273 will allow a vehicle owner to file an application with the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to designate a beneficiary to take title of a vehicle upon the death of the owner. 

“In Alaska, we allow bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and real property deeds to be transferred upon death.  This bill extends that practice to vehicles,” said House State Affairs Committee member Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka).  “A vehicle is an asset and legal provisions need to be available so that asset is not lost or tied up in court when a person dies.”

Under the provisions of HB 273, the transfer of title is automatic upon presenting proof of death to the DMV, which had input in crafting of the legislation.  HB 273 was originally crafted by Representative Max Gruenberg, who suddenly passed away last month while in office.  Rep. Gruenberg’s seat in the Alaska Legislature was recently filled by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), who heard the bill in the House State Affairs Committee.  

“Fifteen other states allow vehicles to be transferred upon death, and HB 273 includes the best provisions from the laws enacted by those states,” said Rep. Spohnholz (D-Anchorage).  “This is a simple bill that solves a big problem for families and others who lose a loved one.”

The transfer on death provisions in HB 273 are not just limited to personal cars and trucks, but cover all vehicles for which DMV is required to issue a title, including some manufactured homes and trailers.  The bill also allows a vehicle owner to make changes to an application for a transfer on death.

HB 273 now goes to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

For more information, please contact Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.


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