PROBATE COURTS AND DECEDENTS' ESTATES
PROBATE OF WILLS
552:18 Proof of Will During Life.
I. During his or her life, an individual may commence a judicial proceeding to determine the validity of his or her will, subject only to the will's subsequent modification or revocation. For purposes of commencing the proceeding under this section, the individual must be domiciled in this state or own real property located in this state. A person acting as an individual's guardian, conservator, or attorney-in-fact shall not commence the proceeding on behalf of the individual.
II. If the petitioner is domiciled in this state, then the venue for the judicial proceeding shall be in the county where the petitioner has his or her domicile. If the petitioner is not domiciled in this state but owns real property located in this state, then the venue for the judicial proceeding shall be in the county where any of that real property is located.
III. In addition to the petitioner, each of the following persons is an interested person in the judicial proceeding:
(a) The petitioner's spouse;
(b) The persons who, if the petitioner had died on the date of filing the petition, would be the petitioner's heirs;
(c) The legatees and devisees under the terms of the will;
(d) The executors nominated in the will;
(e) If a charitable organization is a legatee or devisee or the will contains any charitable interest, the director of charitable trusts; and
(f) Any other persons who, if the petitioner had died on the date of filing the petition, would be interested parties in a judicial proceeding to prove the petitioner's will.
IV. For the purposes of this section, each of the interested parties shall be deemed possessed of inchoate property rights.
V. Notice shall be given to each of the interested parties. The court may order notice be given to other persons. In connection with the judicial proceeding, a person may represent and bind another person in accordance with Article 3 of RSA 564-B.
VI. In the judicial proceeding, the petitioner is the proponent of the will, the will shall be proved in solemn form, and the burden of proof and presumptions shall be the same as in a proceeding to prove the will in solemn form. After a hearing, the court shall declare whether the will is valid or invalid, and it may make other findings of fact and conclusions of law that are appropriate under the circumstances.
VII. After the individual's death, the will for which there is a declaration of validity under this section shall have full legal effect as the individual's will and, upon request, shall be admitted to probate and conclusively deemed proved, except to the extent that the will is modified or revoked after the court's declaration.
VIII. A will for which there is a declaration of validity under this section may be modified or revoked in the same manner as a will for which there is no declaration of validity under this section.
IX. An individual's failure to commence a judicial proceeding under this section shall not be construed as evidence or an admission that the individual's will is invalid for any reason.
Source. 2014, 195:4, eff. July 1, 2014.