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Validity of a will during the estate administration process

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2021 | Estate Planning |

The estate administration process can be difficult and delicate for families who are grieving the losses of loved ones. One complication that can make estate administration matters more difficult is if the decedent’s will is questioned as invalid. In North Carolina, there are specific requirements that wills must meet to be considered valid and eligible for use during probate and estate administration. This post will discuss some of those requirements, but all readers are asked to speak with their trusted estate planning and administration lawyers about the specific details of executing valid wills in the state.

What is required to draft and execute a valid will in North Carolina?

One of the fundamental requirements that North Carolina imposes on wills is age. Children cannot draft and execute wills in the state. A person must be 18 years of age or older to have a valid will.

Another requirement that North Carolina residents must meet when creating their wills is testamentary capacity. Testamentary capacity refers to one’s ability to understand what their will accomplishes and what will happen when they die. If a person lacks testamentary capacity, their will may be deemed invalid.

Finally, wills generally must be written, however, exceptions exist. Also, wills must be witnessed and signed by at least two others to ensure the validity of the decedent’s intentions. These requirements are not comprehensive and all individuals with questions about drafting wills should speak to legal professionals about their inquiries.

Addressing invalidity during probate and estate administration

As stated, questions of invalidity can complicate and lengthen probate processes in North Carolina. One of the best ways to avoid probate and estate administration complications is to ensure that one’s will is properly drafted before their death. However, this may not always be possible and when questions regarding will challenges, families can benefit from seeking support, guidance, and representation from knowledgeable estate administration lawyers in their communities.