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North Carolina Last Will and Testament

North Carolina Last Will and Testament


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

January 3, 2023

6 mins


Writing down your wishes on blank paper or telling them to your loved ones isn't always enough. Most courts won't recognize them as your will, and those wishes won't uphold in court. That's why lawyers and experts always suggest following the requirements for your specific state to create your last will. It would be recognized as a legal instrument and help the probate court know your wishes for your estate. 

You can mention essential aspects of your estate and family's well-being in the will, like selecting the guardians and an executor. If you don't, all these things could be some stranger's decision based on what they can find. Therefore, work now and create your North Carolina last will and testament.

Requirements for a North Carolina Last Will and Testament  

  • Written will: A North Carolina last will and testament must be a hard copy to be legal. It can not be in audio, video, or other digital file forms. However, North Carolina state allows written or holographic wills.
  • Must be of at least 18 age.
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator for a North Carolina last will should understand the will-making procedure, nature of their relationships, and estate. 
  • Signed by the testator: To make it enforceable and legal, the testator must sign the North Carolina last will and testament before the two witnesses.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You need to have at least two witnesses for a North Carolina last will and testament. They should witness, acknowledge and sign the will before the testator. 
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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

Who can be your witnesses for a North Carolina Last Will and Testament? 

Your witnesses for a North Carolina last will must follow these conditions:

  • North Carolina allows anyone generally competent to be a witness. 
  • They should testify about what they saw and the will-making process.
  • However, it's better not to choose beneficiaries as witnesses for the last will and testament. 
  • The interested witnesses or the spouse would lose their share in the estate unless two other disinterested witnesses are present.

North Carolina rules for an oral will

North Carolina State allows oral wills in these conditions:

  • The testator is in their last sickness or their death bed.
  • They should have two witnesses for the oral will, who you ask to be your witnesses.
  • You can give away your personal property only.

North Carolina rules for a personal representative or an executor 

Naming an executor for your North Carolina last will would be better for ensuring that your last wishes are followed rather than the North Carolina probate law. However, an executor should follow these guidelines to be eligible for the role:

  1. Must be at least 18 or above. 
  2. Capable of handling the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. North Carolina only allows felons if they have completed their sentence and terms of their post-release. 
  4. North Carolina allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor if they opt for an agent that lives in the state.
Last Will and Testament North Carolina

North Carolina Last Will and Testament Notarization.

There's no need to notarize your North Carolina last will and testament. However, you could add a self-proving affidavit to your North Carolina will to speed up the probate in NC. Here's how you can make your North Carolina last will and testament self-proving:

  • Look for a notary public to make a self-proving affidavit for the will. 
  • You and the two witnesses must go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you know you're signing a will.

North Carolina Will Revocation 

You could follow any of the following methods to revoke your North Carolina last will and testament:

  • Destroy your North Carolina will by tearing, burning, obliterating, and shredding.
  • Asking someone else to destroy the last will before you 
  • Making a new legal will, which revokes parts or the entire previous will.
  • Create a new document that states the revocation of your previous North Carolina will. You need to follow the same conditions as a new will to make it legal. 

North Carolina Will Amendment rules. 

If you need to make a few minor changes to your North Carolina will, you can do it through a Codicil. It will allow you to introduce changes to your existing will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same guidelines to make a legal codicil as for an original will. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to make a new will that revokes the previous one.

North Carolina rules for divorce after making your last will

  • North Carolina law revokes any gift or estate portion you leave to your spouse.
  • Revokes the appointment of your spouse as the trustee or executor 
  • However, the provisions will stand if you state otherwise in your last will or remarry your ex.

What happens if you don't have a will in North Carolina?

Last Will and Testament North Carolina Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament North Carolina free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new North Carolina last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:

  1. Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
  2. Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
  3. Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements. 

This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution. 

Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:

  • Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
  • Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.

If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable North Carolina last will and testament. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I decide who would look after my minor children in my will?

Yes, you should name a person as the guardian of your children in your will. It would help avoid any hassles, and they could look after your kids after you pass away.

Can an executor or guardian refuse to take up the role?

Yes, your guardian or executor can refuse to take on the job. It is always better to ask the person and get their approval before mentioning them on your will.

What would it cost me to make a will?

Depending on your location and estate, the cost varies between $500 to $1000 if you hire a lawyer. However, you can use the TrulyWill platform to create a legal and valid will at a fraction of this price.

Can my last will and testament be oral?

Only a few states consider an oral will legal only if it follows the rules. You would have to fulfill some criteria the state sets to be eligible to make an oral will. However, you shouldn't risk this to chance and create a solid, legal will on paper.

Can I write down my wishes and consider them a legal will?

Several states do not allow a self-written will unless you've followed the requirements. It would always be better to create a legal will by following all your state rules.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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