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North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 31 Wills

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Article 1 - Execution of Will.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-1.   Who may make will
    Any person of sound mind, and 18 years of age or over, may make a will. (1811, c. 280; R.C., c. 119, s. 2;...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-2.   Repealed by Session Laws 1953, c. 1098, s. 1
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-3.   Rewritten and renumbered as G.S. 31-3.1 to 31-3.6 by Session Laws 1953, c. 1098, s. 2
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-3.1.   Will invalid unless statutory requirements complied with
    No will is valid unless it complies with the requirements prescribed therefor by this Article. (1953, c. 1098, s. 2.)
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-3.2.   Kinds of wills
    (a) Personal property and real property may be devised by (1) An attested written will which complies with the requirements of G.S. 31-3.3, or...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-3.3.   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...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-3.4.   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...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-3.5.   Nuncupative will
    A nuncupative will is a will (1) Made orally by a person who is in that person's last sickness or in imminent peril of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-3.6.   Seal not required
    A seal is not necessary to the validity of a will. (1953, c. 1098, s. 2.)
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-4.   Execution of power of appointment by will
    No appointment, made by will in the exercise of any power, shall be valid unless the same be executed in the manner by law...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-4.1.   Repealed by Session Laws 2010-181, s. 1, effective July 1, 2010
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-4.2.   Repealed by Session Laws 2010-181, s. 2, effective July 1, 2010

Article 2 - Revocation of Will.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.   Rewritten and renumbered as G.S. 31-5.1 by Session Laws 1953, c. 1098, s. 3
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.1.   Revocation of written will
    A written will, or any part thereof, may be revoked only (1) By a subsequent written will or codicil or other revocatory writing executed...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.2.   Revocation of nuncupative will
    A nuncupative will or any part thereof may be revoked (1) By a subsequent nuncupative will, or (2) By a subsequent written will or...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.3.   Will not revoked by marriage; dissent from will made prior to marriage
    A will is not revoked by a subsequent marriage of the maker; and the surviving spouse may petition for an elective share when there...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.4.   Revocation by divorce or annulment; revival
    Dissolution of marriage by absolute divorce or annulment after making a will does not revoke the will of any testator but, unless otherwise specifically...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.5.   After-born or after-adopted child; children born out of wedlock; effect on will
    (a) A will shall not be revoked by the subsequent birth of a child to the testator, or by the subsequent adoption of a...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.6.   No revocation by subsequent conveyance
    No conveyance or other act made or done subsequently to the execution of a will of, or relating to, any real or personal estate...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.7.   Specific provisions for revocation exclusive; effect of changes in circumstances
    No will can be revoked in whole or in part by any act of the testator or by a change in the testator's circumstances...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-5.8.   Revival of revoked will
    No will or any part thereof that has been in any manner revoked can, except as provided in G.S. 31-5.4, be revived otherwise than...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-6.   Renumbered as G.S. 31-5.3 by Session Laws 1953, c. 1098, s. 5
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-7.   Repealed by Session Laws 1953, c. 1098, s. 9
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-8.   Renumbered as G.S. 31-5.6 by Session Laws 1953, c. 1098, s. 8

Article 3 - Witnesses to Will.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-8.1.   Who may witness
    Any person competent to be a witness generally in this State may act as a witness to a will. (1953, c. 1098, s. 15.)
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-9.   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...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-10.   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...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-10.1.   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...

Article 4 - Depository for Wills.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-11.   Depositories in offices of clerks of superior court where living persons may file wills
    The clerk of the superior court in each county of North Carolina shall be required to keep a receptacle or depository in which any...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-11.1 through 31-11.5.   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 4A - Self-Proved Wills.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-11.6.   How attested wills may be made self-proved
    (a) Any will may be simultaneously executed, attested, and made self-proved, by acknowledgment thereof by the testator and affidavits of the witnesses, each made...

Article 5 - Probate of Will.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-12 through 31-31.2.   Recodified as Article 2A of Chapter 28A of the General Statutes, G.S. 28A-2A-1 through G.S. 28A-2A-23, by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 3, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-18.   31-12 through 31-31.2: Recodified as Article 2A of Chapter 28A of the General Statutes, G.S. 28A-2A-1 through G.S. 28A-2A-23, by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 3, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-12 through 31-31.2.   Recodified as Article 2A of Chapter 28A of the General Statutes, G.S. 28A-2A-1 through G.S. 28A-2A-23, by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 3, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-25 through 31-25.1.   Recodified as Article 2A of Chapter 28A of the General Statutes, G.S. 28A-2A-1 through G.S. 28A-2A-23, by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 3, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-26.   Recodified as Article 2A of Chapter 28A of the General Statutes, G.S. 28A-2A-1 through G.S. 28A-2A-23, by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 3, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-12 through 31-31.2.   Recodified as Article 2A of Chapter 28A of the General Statutes, G.S. 28A-2A-1 through G.S. 28A-2A-23, by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 3, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date

Article 6 - Caveat to Will.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-32.   Filing of caveat
    (a) At the time of application for probate of any will, and the probate thereof in common form, or at any time within three...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-33.   Cause transferred to trial docket
    The caveator's (a) Upon the filing of a caveat, the clerk shall transfer the cause to the superior court for trial by jury. The...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-34.   Repealed by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 8, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-35.   Affidavit of witness as evidence
    Whenever the subscribing witness to any will shall die, or be mentally incompetent, or be absent beyond the State, it shall be competent upon...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-36.   Effect of caveat on estate administration
    (a) Order of Clerk. - Where a caveat is filed, the clerk of the superior court shall forthwith issue an order that shall apply...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-37.   Repealed by Session Laws 2011-344, s. 8, effective January 1, 2012, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after that date
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-37.1.   Settlement agreement; filing of judgment
    (a) Prior to an entry of judgment by the superior court in a caveat proceeding, the parties may enter into a settlement agreement, which...

Article 7 - Construction of Will.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-38.   Devise presumed to be in fee
    When real estate shall be devised to any person, the same shall be held and construed to be a devise in fee simple, unless...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-39.   Probate necessary to pass title; rights of lien creditors and purchasers; recordation in county where real property lies
    (a) A duly probated will is effective to pass title to real and personal property. (b) A will is not effective to pass title...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-40.   What property passes by will
    Any testator, by the testator's a will duly executed, may devise or dispose of all real and personal property which the testator shall be...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-41.   Will relates to death of testator
    Every will shall be construed, with reference to the real and personal estate comprised therein, to speak and take effect as if it had...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-42.   Failure of devises by lapse or otherwise; renunciation; 120-hour survivorship requirement, revised simultaneous death act, Article 24, Chapter 28A
    (a) Unless the will indicates a contrary intent, if a devisee predeceases the testator, whether before or after the execution of the will, and...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-42.1 through 31-42.2.   Repealed by Session Laws 1965, c. 938, s. 2
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-43.   When a general gift by will operates as an exercise of power of appointment
    A general devise of the real property of the testator, or of the testator's real property in any place or in the occupation of...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-44.   Repealed by Session Laws 1951, c. 762, s. 2
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-45.   Rewritten and renumbered as G.S. 31-5.5 by Session Laws 1953, c. 1098, s. 7
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-46.   Validity of will; which laws govern
    A will is valid if it meets the requirements of the applicable provisions of law in effect in this State either at the time...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-46.1.   Construction of certain formula clauses applicable to estates of decedents dying in calendar year 2010
    (a) Purpose. - The federal estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax expired January 1, 2010, for one year. To carry out the intent of...

Article 8 - Testamentary Additions to Trusts.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-47.   Testamentary additions to trusts
    (a) A will may validly devise property to: (1) The trustee of a trust established before the testator's death by the testator, by the...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-48.   Reserved for future codification purposes
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-49.   Reserved for future codification purposes
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-50.   Reserved for future codification purposes

Article 9 - Incorporation by Reference; Acts of Independent Significance.

  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-51.   Incorporation by reference
    A writing in existence when a will is executed may be incorporated by reference if the language of the will manifests this intent and...
  • N.C. Gen. Stat. § 31-52.   Acts and events of independent significance
    A will may dispose of property by reference to acts and events that have significance apart from their effect upon the disposition made by...

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Last modified: March 23, 2014