A nuncupative will is a will created orally. As an exception to the general requirement that a valid will must be in writing, some states allow their residents to create oral wills in very limited situations. Typically, oral wills are valid in these states if made during times of military conflict or war by soldiers, during long voyages at sea by mariners and during the final stages of a terminal illnesses at home or on a persons deathbed. As an exception to the general requirement that a validly created will is one that is in writing, in states recognizing oral wills, their statutory requirements are very strict. Typically, in states recognizing oral wills, impartial witnesses must be present to hear a declarant’s last dying wishes and must memorialize his wishes in writing within a very limited time-frame.
The North Dakota Century Code specifically states that nuncupative wills are invalid, regardless of the presence of any extenuating circumstances. As such, even if you are a military service member called to active duty, your oral utterances, last dying testamentary wishes, and property bequests will unfortunately go unrecognized. Creating a written will before deployment, before or after an illness or before any other medical emergency is imperative in North Dakota.