Can You Have an Oral Will?

Robert Ray

Texas requires that all wills be in writing. Before 2007, however, Texas recognized nuncupative or oral wills. Former §§ 64 and 65 of the Texas Probate Code, repealed 2007. Now, oral wills are no longer recognized.

Before 2007 when oral wills were admitted to probate, you could only dispose of personal property by an oral will, not real property. Because oral wills were subject to abuse in that anyone could claim that the Testator told them who they wanted to have the estate, oral wills had to meet certain criteria.The will had to be:

  1. Made when the Testator was in his last sickness;
  2. Made at the testator’s home or where he had resided for more than 10 days; and,
  3. The amount subject to the will could be no more than $30.00 dollars ” unless it be proved by three credible witnesses that the Testator called on a person to take notice or bear testimony that such is his will, or words of like import.”

Nuncupative wills are an historical oddity that estate attorneys talk about when discussing the “good old days.”


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We handle cases throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

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Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
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