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How are different types of wills probated in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2023 | Estate Planning, Probate |

In North Carolina, there are different ways in which people create a will. This frequently depends on the circumstances they are facing. Some people are well-prepared and have the will written, witnessed and executed in advance. In other cases, they may need to make a will orally or in their handwriting, when they suspect their end is near.

The probate process is different based on the way the will was written.

Written, holographic and nuncupative wills and how they are probated

Most people write their will as part of their estate planning. If it is an attested written will, it can move forward through probate if there are a minimum of two witnesses to attest to its validity.

If there is only a single witness who can do so, then they must give testimony; there must be proof of the handwriting of at least one attesting witness who has died or is unavailable; there needs to be proof of the testator’s handwriting except when they signed it by mark; and proof must be sufficient to satisfy the clerk as to the will being valid.

Should no attesting witnesses be available to testify, then a minimum of two attesting witnesses’ handwriting must be proven as well as the proof of the testator’s handwriting.

A holographic will is in the testator’s handwriting and there were no witnesses when it was written. For it to be probated, the process is slightly more complicated. There must be testimony from a minimum of three competent witnesses to state that the will was written in the person’s handwriting.

A nuncupative will is an oral will. This type can be probated after six months from it being stated. However, if it was put in written form after being orally stated, it can be probated within 10 days.

The surviving spouse must receive written notice. The next of kin must also be notified in this way. These individuals can object to probate. If there is no known surviving spouse or next of kin, the information must be placed in a newspaper that is published in the county of probate or a periodical with sufficient circulation for it to be seen.

When it goes to probate, there must be a minimum of two competent witnesses who say they were present when it was made, that the testator said they were making a will and they were asked to be witnesses to it.

Having help with probate is key to preventing avoidable mistakes

Probate is a critical part of the process after a person has died. Administering the estate carries with it great responsibility with specific requirements. That includes locating the will; acquiring the death certificate; gathering all their financial information and property details; listing the beneficiaries and their personal information; and more.

Writing a will or administering an estate can be complex. Professional help can be crucial.