GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
AN ACT TO REPEAL CERTAIN INCONSISTENT STATUTES AND TO CLARIFY OTHER STATUTES REGARDING THE TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES TO PROVE THE PROPER EXECUTION OF AN ATTESTED WILL AS RECOMMENDED BY THE GENERAL STATUTES COMMISSION.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
Section 1. G.S. 31-23, G.S. 31-25, and G.S. 31-25.1 are hereby repealed.
Sec. 2. G.S. 31-24 is hereby rewritten to read as follows:
"§ 31-24. Examination of witnesses by affidavit.–(a) The examination of witnesses to a will may be taken and subscribed in the form of an affidavit before a notary public or other person who is authorized to administer oaths in the jurisdiction where the examination is held.
(b) A photographic copy of the original will certified to be a true and exact copy thereof by the clerk of superior court of the county in which the will is to be probated may be used in the examination of the witnesses in the procedures set out in subsection (a); provided, the said clerk has in his possession the original will at the time of examination of the witnesses.
(c) Affidavits taken in accordance with subsection (a) shall be transmitted by the person taking the affidavit to the clerk of superior court of the county in which the will is to be probated.
(d) Testimony submitted in accordance with subsection (a) is competent in regard to all requirements of G.S. 31-3.3 and to establish that a will was executed in compliance with the requirements of G.S. 31-3.3.
(e) Nothing in this section is to limit or otherwise affect the authority of a clerk of superior court in the exercise of his authority as judge of probate under G.S. 28A-2-1 to:
(1) issue subpoenas under G.S. 7A-103; or
(2) order the taking of depositions of witnesses."
Sec. 3. G.S. 31-27 is hereby rewritten to read as follows:
"§ 31-27. Certified copy of will of nonresident recorded.–(a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b), if the will of a citizen or subject of another state or country is probated in accordance with the laws of that jurisdiction and a duly certified copy of the will and the probate proceedings are produced before a clerk of superior court of any county wherein the testator had property, the copy of the will shall be probated as if it were the original. If the jurisdiction is within the United States, the copy of the will and the probate proceedings shall be certified by the clerk of the court wherein the will was probated. If the jurisdiction is outside the United States, the copy of the will and probate proceedings shall be certified by any ambassador, minister, consul or commercial agent of the United States under his official seal.
(b) For a copy of a will probated under the provisions of subsection (a) to be valid to pass title to or otherwise dispose of real estate in this State, the execution of said will according to the laws of this State must appear affirmatively, to the satisfaction of the clerk of the superior court of the county in which such will is offered for probate, from the testimony of a witness or witnesses to such will, or from findings of fact or recitals in the order of probate, or otherwise in such certified copy of the will and probate proceedings.
(c) If the execution of the will in accordance with the laws of this State does not appear as required by subsection (b), the clerk before whom the copy is exhibited shall have power to take proof as prescribed in G.S. 31-24, and the will may be adjudged duly proved, and if so proved, the will shall be recorded as herein provided.
(d) Any copy of a will of a nonresident heretofore allowed, filed and recorded in this State in compliance with the foregoing shall be valid to pass title to or otherwise dispose of real estate in this State."
Sec. 4. This act shall become effective October 1, 1987.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 22nd day of April, 1987.