Can I Make An Oral Will in Texas?
A nuncupative will is an oral or spoken will. Prior to September 1, 2007, Texas allowed individuals to use nuncupative (oral wills) to transfer personal property at death, but only in very limited circumstances. These circumstances included:
- Last sickness: The testator had to be on his deathbed when he uttered his testamentary words. In other words, circumstances must have existed that gave him no time or opportunity to make a written will.
- Location: The testator must have spoken the testamentary words
- at home
- at a place he resided for ten or more days before speaking those words, or
- at any location if he was ill when he left and died before returning to his home.
- Value of the property: The value of the property the testator transferred could not exceed $30, unless three witnesses heard the testator speak the testamentary words.
Oral wills made before September 1, 2007 will still be given effect. However, oral wills made after that date are not valid.
This post was originally published in 2010 and updated on September 22, 2022.