North Dakota Last Will and Testament Law

Wills and Estates – Last Will and Testament Law – North Dakota

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of wills in North Dakota, but does contain basic and other provisions. Hand-Written wills discussion is not included.

Who may make a will: Any adult who is of sound mind may make a will. 30.1-08-01. (2-501)

Who may witness:
1. Any person generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will.
2. A will or any provision thereof is not invalid because the will is signed by an interested witness.30.1-08-05. (2-505)

Execution: A will must be in writing, signed by the testator and signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after witnessing the signing of the will by the testator.  It should be acknowledged by the testator before a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments. 30.1-08-02. (2-502)

Self-proved will: A will may be simultaneously executed, attested, and made self-proved, by acknowledgment thereof by the testator and affidavits of the witnesses, each made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the state in which execution occurs and evidenced by the officer’s certificate, under official seal, attached or annexed to the will.  The will you have found contains the North Dakota Self proving affidavit. A will that is executed with attesting witnesses may at any time after its execution be made self-proved, by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the affidavits of the witnesses, each made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the state in which the acknowledgment occurs and evidenced by the officer’s certificate, under the official seal, attached or annexed to the will.  A signature affixed to a self-proving affidavit attached to a will is considered a signature affixed to the will, if necessary to prove the will’s due execution. 30.1-08-04. (2-504)

Foreign (other state) Wills: A written will is valid if executed in compliance with section 30.1-08-02 or if its execution complies with the law at the time of execution of the place where the will is executed, or of the law of the place where at the time of execution or at the time of death the testator is domiciled, has a place of abode, or is a national. 30.1-08-06. (2-506).

Revocation of Wills: A will or any part thereof is revoked:
a. By executing a subsequent will that revokes the previous will or part expressly or by inconsistency; or
b. By performing a revocatory act on the will, if the testator performed the act with the intent and for the purpose of revoking the will or part or if another individual performed the act in the testator’s conscious presence and by the testator’s direction. For purposes of this subdivision, “revocatory act on the will” includes burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will or any part of it. A burning, tearing, or canceling is a “revocatory act on the will”, whether or not the burn, tear, or cancellation touched any of the words on the will. 30.1-08-07. (2-507)

Separate writing identifying devise of certain types of tangible personal property: A will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing must be signed by the testator and must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator’s death, it may be prepared before or after the execution of the will, it may be altered by the testator after its preparation, and it may be a writing that has no significance apart from its effect on the dispositions made by the will. 30.1-08-13. (2-513)


Inside North Dakota Last Will and Testament Law