Wills are formal statements of a person's wishes regarding disposition of his or her property after death. Such a statement is commonly made in a writing that is signed, sealed, declared, and witnessed.
Wills prior to 1901 are indexed by name of devisor in the State Archives' online MARS catalog available at http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov/Public/Finding-Aids. Lists of wills for select counties are also available at http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov/Public/Finding-Aids/County-Records-Box-Lists#wills. For a county summary of original wills and microfilm held by the the State Archives of North Carolina, please see the Guide to County Records.
Wills held by the State Archives of North Carolina may also be available on third party websites like Family Search. The State Archives provides links to many of these collections at http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/home/collections/links-sanc-materials.