28A-2A-16. 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) of this section; 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) of this section 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) of this section 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. (1917, c. 183; C.S., s. 4149; 1933, c. 114; 1957, c. 587, ss. 1, 1A; 1979, c. 226, s. 1; 1987, c. 78, s. 2; 2011-344, ss. 3, 4.)