Also known as a ‘death-bed will’, a nuncupative will results from a testamentary statement from a person who thinks he or she is about to die.  This is the only exception to the North Carolina requirement that a will be in writing.

In order for a nuncupative will to be potentially honored, the testator (legalese for the person making a will) must 1) believe that they are about to die, 2) make an oral statement to 3) at least two competent witnesses 4) who are both (or all if more than 2) present with the testator at the time of the statement.  But there is more: 5) the testator’s statement must include that it is intended to be a will and 6) include a request that the witnesses testify to the will.  And then, 7) the testator must actually die from whatever the perceived threat was and within fairly short order.  The heirs to the will must bring a legal action to admit the nuncupative will and the witnesses will have to testify.  (This is probably beyond the ability of a non-lawyer.)  Even then, the will is NOT valid for the transfer of real estate.  As always, a will does not effect retirement accounts, investment accounts, or life insurance policies, etc., that have a beneficiary designation, nor any accounts with a pay-on-death beneficiary.