What is an oral will?

An oral will, also known as a nuncupative will, is a will that is spoken by the testator to a witness. Oral wills are typically not valid in West Virginia; wills must almost always be written. There are, however, two types of oral wills that are recognized as valid. Soldiers in actual military service and mariners at sea may make out an oral will. Historically, these exceptions were allowed so that soldiers and seamen could dispose of their property on their deathbeds. 

For more information, see: W. Va. Code §§ 41-1-3 to -5 (2015); 20 Michie’s Jurisprudence Wills § 43 (2010).