The following issue and legislative actions have been proposed by the ANCSA Regional Association, General Counsel Group (RGC). The message and documents have been provided to ANVCA in an effort to solicit feedback, become aware of opposition or find support for their efforts.
The issue relates to “abandoned” ANCSA stock as a result of missing Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) shareholders and nonresponsive/non-locatable heirs. Due to lapses in the law, the legal theories of escheat, presumptive death and abandonment do not currently provide adequate solutions for these situations. A workgroup of three regional corporations (CIRI, Doyon and Calista) was created to address the issues and devise a systemic solution.
Solutions include amending the Alaska Probate Code. The proposed amendments include: defining abandonment and establishing steps an ANC must follow prior to declaring stock “abandoned” such that the shares could be cancelled and accrued dividends deposited into the ANC’s general fund; accounting for an affected shareholder or heir later claiming to the stock and dividends; in instances of nonresponsive/non-locatable heirs, allowing for an ANC to make a finding that the potential heir is a “declared non-heir”; and specifying in the statute that escheat is a terminal act. Importantly, the amendments would be permissive, so that those wishing to use them may do so, while those wishing to maintain current practices may continue with those practices.
Please review and distribute materials as appropriate within your corporation, including of course with your shareholder relations/records leads and management teams. Please send all comments to Bruce Anders CIRI General Counsel at BAnders@ciri.com, copying Calista General Counsel Bonnie Paskvan at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Doyon Vice President of Human Resources and Shareholder Services Robin Renfroe at email@example.com, no later than December 2, 2016.