As a preface, I strongly advise against writing your own Will because even if valid in your state, probate of a handwritten Will can be extremely burdensome and expensive. The attorney’s fees alone would be significantly more than having an attorney prepare a well drafted self-proving Will for you. Additionally, some states, including South Carolina, do not recognize holographic wills.
However, you can probate a Holographic Will (a handwritten Will) in North Carolina as long as you are a resident of this state and your handwritten Will meets all the statutory elements provided in N.C.G.S. § 31-3.4. The first obvious point to note is that a “handwritten” will must be entirely in your own handwriting. You cannot use a computer, iphone, text message, or email to create a handwritten Will. For educational purposes, the following paragraph is an example of how to write your own holographic Will. You must handwrite the following paragraph and fill in the blanks. It must be entirely handwritten and signed by you. You must keep your handwritten Will with your valuable papers and effects, in your safe-deposit box, or other safe place.
” I, ______________________, am a resident of North Carolina and hereby make this my last Will and Testament revoking all prior Wills. I appoint ____________________ as Executor of my Estate, to serve without bond. I give, devise and bequeath all my property both real and personal, of whatever kind, to ____________________ upon my death.
Probating a Holographic Will in North Carolina
To probate a holographic Will in North Carolina the following requirements of N.C.G.S. §28A-2A-9 must be met. A handwritten Will that meets all of the statutory formalities on the face of the document still may only be probated upon the testimony of three (3) competent witnesses that they believe content of the Will and signature of testator on the Will is entirely in the handwriting of the testator. Additionally, the testimony of one witness is required to verify that the handwritten Will was found with the testator’s valuable papers and effects, in the testator’s safe-deposit box, or other safe place.
The above form is a sample form intended only to serve only as a general resource to demonstrate the formalities required to write your own Will in North Carolina and is not a substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer. Anyone using this form as an aid in preparing a holographic Will is solely responsible for the contents of such document and assumes all risks in connection with such use.