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What is a Nuncupative Will in Tennessee?

Posted on Nov 25 2013 10:07AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

A nuncupative will is a will that is completed by a person who is in imminent peril of death from illness or otherwise.  The will is only valid if the testator actually died as a result of the impending peril.  T.C.A. § 32-1-106 provides in this entirety as follows:


(a) A nuncupative will may be made only by a person in imminent peril of death, whether from illness or otherwise, and shall be valid only if the testator died as a result of the impending peril, and must be:

(1) Declared to be the testator's 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 dollars ($1,000), 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 dollars ($10,000).

(c) A nuncupative will neither revokes nor changes an existing written will.


This type of will is very limited and has very specific requirements that are restrictive.  The nuncupative wil...

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TAGS: Nuncupative Will, Wills Comments [0]

What is a holographic will under Tennessee law?

Posted on Feb 28 2013 11:16AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

A holographic will is one that is done in the handwriting of the testator.  There are three different types of wills under Tennessee law.


(1) Normal will with execution completed pursuant to T.C.A. § 32-1-104.

(2) Holographic will pursuant to T.C.A. § 32-1-105 (in handwriting of the testator)

(3) Nuncupative will pursuant to T.C.A. § 32-1-106 (will completed while in imminent peril of death)


Under Tennessee law a holographic will must comply with the specific requirements found in T.C.A. § 32-1-105 which provides as follows:


No witness to a holographic will is necessary, but the signature and all its material provisions must be in the handwriting of the testator and the testator's handwriting must be proved by two (2) witnesses.


As a result, for a holographic will to be valid it must have the signature of the testator.  Additionally, all of the material provisions in the will must be in the actual handwriting of the testator.  Further, the testator's handwriting in the holographic will must be proved to be the testator’s by two witnesses.  If these requirements are met than a holographic will will be valid under Tennessee law. 


It is still better to have a Tennessee attorney who is experienced in drafting wills handle the formation of the will documents. Continue Reading  

TAGS: Holographic Will, Nuncupative Will, Wills Comments [0]

Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
611 Commerce Street, Suite 2603
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com