A nuncupative will, also called a verbal will or deathbed will, includes directions for how personal property should be distributed if a person is too ill to write their will. In most jurisdictions, nuncupative wills are not legal. However, in the areas where a verbal will is permitted, there must be a certain number of witnesses, and the details of the will must be written down as quickly as possible. If you’re a Maryland resident, here are some important things to know.
Understanding nuncupative wills
When you’re trying to finalize wills and trusts for yourself or a family member, it’s crucial to know about the terms of a nuncupative will. This type of will is provided to people who are injured or sick and confined to a hospital or in hospice care. Nuncupative wills derive from a time when the spoken word was viewed as a binding agreement between all involved parties. In a nuncupative will, people can leave property to people who are present during the decedent’s last phases of life.
Are nuncupative wills useful?
Unlike traditional wills and trusts, nuncupative wills don’t have much legal validity in most U.S. states. However, in situations where a personal representative, heir or executor needs to make financial or legal decisions, nuncupative wills can make the soon-to-be-deceased’s wishes known.
A nuncupative type of will can help reduce or eliminate legal disputes and keep family members from having to go to court once the person who created the will has passed away. If a case involving a nuncupative will goes to court, there is no guarantee that the judge will take this type of will into consideration.