Nuncupative Will Law and Legal Definition

A nuncupative will is an oral will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. Real property cannot be transferred through a nuncupative will. A nuncupative will is considered a "deathbed" will, meaning that it is a safety for people struck with a terminal illness and a written will is not able to be drafted.The nuncupative device is usually useable only in situations of extreme emergency. Many state statutes limit the amount of property that can pass under a nuncupative will, from $200 to several thousand dollars.

The following is an example of a nuncupative will statute:

"Nuncupative Will. – A soldier in actual military service, or a mariner or seaman when at sea, may dispose of his movables and personal estate as he might heretofore have done."