Summary of North Carolina's Will Requirements:

Minimum Age to Make a Will 18
Written Document Required Yes
Nuncupative Wills (Oral) Yes1
Holographic Wills (Hand-Written, Unwitnessed) Yes
Number of Witnesses Required 2
Self-Proving Affidavit Allowed
Statutory Form for Self-Proving Affidavit Yes




Statutes Governing North Carolina's Will Requirements:


Who may make will

Any person of sound mind, and 18 years of age or over, may make a will.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑1


Will invalid unless statutory requirements complied with

No will is valid unless it complies with the requirements prescribed therefor by this Article.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑3.1


Kinds of wills

(a) Personal property may be bequeathed and real property may be devised by

(1) An attested written will which complies with the requirements of G.S. 31‑3.3, or

(2) A holographic will which complies with the requirements of G.S. 31‑3.4.

(b) Personal property may also be bequeathed by a nuncupative will which complies with the requirements of G.S. 31‑3.5.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑3.2


Attested written will

(a)  An attested written will is a written will signed by the testator and attested by at least two competent witnesses as provided by this section.

(b)  The testator must, with intent to sign the will, do so by  signing the will himself or by having someone else in the testator's presence and at his direction sign the testator's name thereon.

(c)  The testator must signify to the attesting witnesses that the instrument is his instrument by signing it in their presence or by acknowledging to them his signature previously affixed thereto, either of which may be done before the attesting witnesses separately.

(d)  The attesting witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the testator but need not sign in the presence of each other.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑3.3


Holographic will

(a)  A holographic will is a will

(1)  Written entirely in the handwriting of the testator but when all the words appearing on a paper in the handwriting of the  testator are sufficient to constitute a valid holographic will, the fact that other words or printed matter appear thereon not in the handwriting of the testator, and not affecting the meaning of the words in such handwriting, shall not affect the validity of the will, and

(2)  Subscribed by the testator, or with his name written in or on the will in his own handwriting, and

(3)  Found after the testator's death among his valuable papers or effects, or in a safe‑deposit box or other safe place where it was deposited by him or under his authority, or in the possession or custody of some person with whom, or some firm or corporation with which, it was deposited by him or under his authority for safekeeping.

(b)  No attesting witness to a holographic will is required.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑3.4


Nuncupative will1

A nuncupative will is a will

(1)  Made orally by a person who is in his last sickness or in imminent peril of death and who does not survive such sickness or imminent peril, and

(2)  Declared to be his will before two competent witnesses simultaneously present at the making thereof and specially requested by him to bear witness thereto.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑3.5


Seal not required

A seal is not necessary to the validity of a will.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑3.6


Who may witness

Any person competent to be a witness generally in this State may act as a witness to a will.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑8.1


Executor competent witness

No person, on account of being an executor of a will, shall be incompetent to be admitted a witness to prove the execution of such will, or to prove the validity or invalidity thereof.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑9


Beneficiary competent witness; when interest rendered void

(a)  A witness to an attested written or a nuncupative will, to whom or to whose spouse a beneficial interest in property, or a power of appointment with respect thereto, is given by the will, is nevertheless a competent witness to the will and is competent to prove the execution or validity thereof. However, if there are not at least two other witnesses to the will who are disinterested, the interested witness and his spouse and anyone claiming under him shall take nothing under the will, and so far only as their interests are concerned the will is void.

(b)  A beneficiary under a holographic will may testify to such competent, relevant and material facts as tend to establish such holographic will as a valid will without rendering void the benefits to be received by him thereunder.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑10


Corporate trustee not disqualified by witnessing of will by stockholder

A corporation named as a trustee in a will is not disqualified to act as trustee by reason of the fact that a person owning stock in the corporation signed the will as a witness.

North Carolina Statutes, § 31‑10.1


[Reference - North Carolina Requirements to Make a Will]