In order to probate a holographic Will, who is responsible for obtaining the required testimony the witnesses?

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In order to probate a holographic Will, who is responsible for obtaining the required testimony the witnesses?

In NC, a holographic Will may be probated only upon the testimony of at least 3 competent witnesses. They are to state that they believe that the Will is written entirely in the handwriting of the person whose Will it purports to be. Additionally, that the name of the testator as written in or on, or subscribed to, the Will is in the handwriting of the person whose Will it purports to be. Who is responsible for obtaining such testimony? A holographic Will is on file at the office of a County Clerk of Superior Court. Is it the duty of said Clerk to obtain such testimony?

Asked on May 4, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The testimony, as you put it, is evidenciary in nature in that is goes to support the allegation that the Will was that of the decedent/testator.  The person who is filing the petition and presenting the Will for probate - the fiduciary or named executor - is the person responsible for providing the supporting documentation to prove the validity of the Will.  The clerk of the court does no more than what is required by the court in keeping the information filed.  Who, by the way, filed the Will with the court? Was it filed prior to the death of the decedent?  I would tell the proposed executor to hire an attorney to help with all of this.  Good luck.


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