Unlike a traditional will, which is prepared in writing and signed by the testator and witnesses, a nuncupative will is created verbally and may only be considered legally valid under certain circumstances and in certain states.
Nuncupative wills are often associated with emergency situations or instances where the testator is facing imminent death and does not have the opportunity to create a formal written will.
These types of wills are generally considered less reliable and more susceptible to fraud or disputes because they lack the formalities and documentation of a written will.
As a result, nuncupative wills are often subject to stricter scrutiny and legal challenges. Some states do not recognize nuncupative wills at all, while others have specific requirements that must be met for such wills to be valid.
Requirements for a nuncupative will to be considered valid vary by state, but some common elements include:
Imminent Death: In many places, a nuncupative will is only considered valid if it was made by the testator in anticipation of imminent death or during a terminal illness.
Witnesses: Witnesses are typically required to be present during the declaration of the nuncupative will. The number of witnesses and their qualifications are specified by state law.
Recording: In some cases, the nuncupative will might need to be recorded or documented in writing shortly after it is spoken.
Limited Assets: Some jurisdictions might limit the types of property that can be assigned through a nuncupative will, often excluding real estate or other valuable Assets.
Subsequent Confirmation: In some cases, a nuncupative will may need to be confirmed or ratified by the testator in writing or by other means, especially if they survive their imminent danger.
When creating a will it's best to draft a written will and consult with an Estate Attorney to ensure that it is properly executed and compliant with state laws.