The North Carolina Last Will and Testament is a standard document used to define how the testator’s estate should be distributed after their death. It usually provides financial support for their immediate family. However, beneficiaries can be chosen also among extended family members, friends and acquaintances, charitable organizations and other institutions. It is common to assign an executor, a trusted person, who will be responsible for the proper execution of a Will and distribution of various types of property to the beneficiaries, selected by the testator. The document must be signed by witnesses, and their signatures should be acknowledged by a notary public. It is vital to remember that a Will may be changed or nullified, as far as the grantor is of sound mind.

How to Write Your Own Will in North Carolina

When it comes to writing a Will, certain steps are to be followed.

Step 1 – Establishing the owner of the document

A testator downloads a Last Will form and at the very top of the document enters their full name. Then city and county of testator’s residence are entered. It is important to read “Expenses and Taxes” at this stage.

Step 2 – Selecting an executor

The testator chooses an executor and enters their personal data (full name, address, city, county and state of their residence). It is always recommended to think in advance about an alternate representative, in case the first delegated executor is not able or not willing to perform their duty. To add the second appointed executor, the testator submits the same type of their personal information such as the alternate’s name, address, city, county and state.

Step 3 – Distributing property to beneficiaries

Once the testator makes a decision regarding individuals who will be beneficiaries, the following information should be registered in the document: name of each beneficiary, their current address and relationship to the declarant, the last 4 digits of their Social Security Number, as well as the property they will inherit after the testator’s death. If the declarant wants to give any other information or instructions, they need to add a separate sheet and attach it to the document.

Step 4 – Making a binding agreement

The testator reads again the document and makes sure that the information provided is correct. Then testator’s name, the date of the document, their printed name and the date of signature are entered. The declarant must use the dd/mm/yyyy format, while completing the form.

Step 5 – Signing a Will. Witnesses.

Witnesses must be present at the moment of the signing of a Will. They examine the section and write down their personal information, such as their full legal name and current complete address.

Step 6 – Notarizing the document

All signatories are present before a notary public. The notary completes the document, as it is required by law.

How to Make A Will in North Carolina

North Carolina State Will Requirements

Chapter 31 (Wills) regulates how a Last Will is made, while G.S. 31-3.3 provides information on the signing procedure. A Will must be signed by a testator and at a minimum two mentally competent witnesses. The latter should sign the document with the testator being present at that moment, while it is not required that witnesses sign a Will in each other’s presence. For more detailed information on the matter, please refer to the laws mentioned above.

Does a Will Have to be Notarized in North Carolina

No, it is not obligatory to notarize a Will in North Carolina. However, you may consider this option, if you prefer a “self proved” will. In this case it will be admitted to probate court without the witnesses having to testify or without any other proofs.

Download a PDF or Word Sample North Carolina Will