Are “Deathbed” (Nuncupative) Wills Recognized in Tennessee

elderly person making a deathbed (nuncupative) willTennessee recognizes three types of Wills. This entry will give some insight into how a verbal “deathbed” declaration is handled. This type of Last Will and Testament is referred to as a Nuncupative Will in the Tennessee statue (T.C.A. 32-1-106) . It is, by far, the most difficult to substantiate and is very restrictive regarding the value of what may be bequeathed in this manner.   

Basically, a nuncupative Will is an oral declaration from the death bed when the testator believes he or she is about to die from some impending peril, either illness or trauma or other circumstance.  For the Will to be valid, the testator must actually die from the illness, trauma or circumstance that prompted the noncupative declaration.  cannot alter any other valid Will that precedes the verbal declaration. The deathbed declaration must be heard (witnessed) by two disinterested parties, must be written down within thirty days following the declaration, be submitted for probate within six months following the death of the testator.  Property so bequeathed cannot have a value in excess of $1000 for a civillian and $10,000 for someone in who is active duty military.

If a person wants to be sure possessions are distributed according to their wishes, and especially if their estate is not of insignificant value, nuncupative declarations are not an option.  Why not remove the element of chance or doubt for something of such importance by securing good legal advice and assistance in preparing your Will.