I Leave My Coin Collection To…

by M-Gillies

Only 20 US states will accept an oral will provided certain conditions are met however most oral wills are contested in court.

Having less authority than handwritten wills, oral wills are recognized in certain states but not many.

While on his or her deathbed a person may leave oral instructions in lieu of a conventional will. Generally these wills are given in haste, opening up the possibility for errors.

While disappointed relatives can contend that the decedent was not of sound mind and body or that someone exerted undue influence on the decedent while the oral will was given, many oral wills are subject to being challenged.

In Canada, oral wills are not recognized under any circumstances, however, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia recognize oral wills made primarily by sailors and mariners as well as those made by military personnel who are serving.

Similarly, in England, Australia and New Zealand, oral wills are not excepted as legitimate unless under limited circumstances made for military personnel and sailors.

It is best to never rely on an oral will and to always put your instructions in writing because as is said, “An oral will is not worth the paper it is printed on.”

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