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Does Massachusetts allow oral wills?

If you want to create a will, it is essential to make sure you follow the rules of your state. Massachusetts law has several requirements that you must follow to ensure your will is valid. In the vast majority of cases, you must write and sign your will and get witnesses to sign it as well. However, there are certain situations in which you may make a nuncupative (oral) will.

According to FindLaw, you may make an oral will if you are a service member in the armed forces or a mariner and you are in "actual service." This means that in order for your oral will to be valid, you must be serving active duty or at sea when you create it. In such a circumstance, you could make your wishes known by speaking them out loud to a witness.

If you are not serving actively in a military action, you must create a written will in order for it to be valid. The state's legal code indicates that you must be at least 18 years old and have the proper mental capacity to create a will. You must sign the will in the presence of at least two witnesses. In most cases, it is simpler if the witnesses are individuals who do not benefit from your will. However, you may have a beneficiary as a witness as long as there are at least two other non-interested witnesses. An interested witness may also need to prove you did not add him or her as a beneficiary because of fraud or compulsion.

This information on wills is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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