Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What is a nuncupative will?

A nuncupative will is an oral expression, as opposed to one in writing, of a testamentary intent, especially by a mortally wounded soldier or by anyone facing immanent death for any reason. Not all states recognize these types of oral wills under any circumstances. Kentucky does not.

Indiana, however, allows nuncupative wills by statute under very limited circumstances.

Indiana Code 29-1-5-4
Nuncupative will; requisites; limitations

(a) A nuncupative will may be made only by a person inimminent peril of death, whether from illness or otherwise, and shallbe valid only if the testator died as a result of the impending peril,and must be
(1) Declared to be his will by the testator before two (2)disinterested witnesses;
(2) Reduced to writing by or under the direction of one (1) of the witnesses within thirty (30) days after such declaration; and
(3) Submitted for probate within six (6) months after the death of the testator.

(b) The nuncupative will may dispose of personal property only and to an aggregate value not exceeding one thousand ($1,000)dollars, except that in the case of persons in active military, air or naval service in time of war the aggregate amount may be ten thousand ($10,000) dollars.

(c) A nuncupative will does not revoke an existing written will.Such written will is changed only to the extent necessary to give effect to the nuncupative will.

Tom Fox, J. D.
Southern Specialty Law Publishing Company
Louisville, Kentucky

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This is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer.

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