28A-2A-7. Probate in solemn form.

(a) A person entitled to apply for probate of a will pursuant to G.S. 28A-2A-1 or G.S. 28A-2A-2 may file a petition for probate of the will in solemn form, and the matter shall proceed as an estate proceeding governed by Article 2 of Chapter 28A of the General Statutes. The clerk of superior court shall issue a summons to all interested parties in the estate. The clerk shall schedule a hearing at which the petitioner shall produce the evidence necessary to probate the will.

(b) If an interested party contests the validity of the will, that person must file a caveat before the hearing or raise an issue of devisavit vel non at the hearing. Upon the filing of a caveat or raising of an issue of devisavit vel non, the clerk shall transfer the cause to the superior court, and the matter shall be heard as a caveat proceeding.

(c) If no interested party contests the validity of the will, the probate shall be binding, and no interested party who was properly served may file a caveat of the probated will. Initiation of a probate in common form shall not preclude a person from applying for probate in solemn form. (2011-344, s. 4.)