Oral Will vs. Deathbed Will vs. Handwritten Will

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Difference between Oral Will, Deathbed Will and Handwritten Will

The cycle of life for people nowadays is to study, work, have a family and rest. Most people work hard and in payment for their hard work, they amass great wealth and there comes a point where they cannot consume the wealth anymore in this lifetime. When people are about to leave a marginal amount of money or wealth to their loved ones, the testator should leave proof so that the rightful beneficiaries will get their appropriate share. This is where the last will and testament comes in. Basically, there are three types of will that can be issued. These are the oral will, the deathbed will and the handwritten will. Which is more effective and binding of the three will be discussed as you read on.

Oral Will
Deathbed Will


A nuncupative will, more popularly known as an oral will, is a last will and testament which is executed by speaking to a witnesses and a beneficiary, giving all of his properties and possessions to the rightful heir. A deathbed will on the other hand is a will which is executed and drafted by the testator upon his forthcoming death to his rightful beneficiaries. Finally, a handwritten will, or a holographic will is a last will and testament drafted by the testator in his own handwriting exhausting all his properties and wealth to his chosen beneficiary.

Concerned Parties

A last will and testament is a binding contract. And for it to become enforceable, there are parties to this testament which makes this whole thing work. The first party is the testator. He is the one responsible for drafting the will, whether it is oral or written. Without the testator, there would be no donation. The next party is the beneficiary. The beneficiary is the one who is the recipient of the properties stated at the will and beneficiary can be one or more persons. Finally, there is the witness, which makes true that there is such a will that was made. Usually, witnesses are lawyers for handwritten wills. All of these apply to oral, deathbed and handwritten wills.


An oral will is binding only in selected states in the world. This is because these wills are usually made at the brink of death of a person and there are a lot of things that are considered with regards to the legality of this will like the sanity of the person giving the will and the pressure he is experiencing because of his near death. This is also true for deathbed wills for most of these deathbed wills are done orally. A handwritten will on the other hand is more binding than the two types of wills. This is because the testator affixes his signature in this will and it is sometimes signed by a witness.


  • An oral will is a will which is spoken
  • A deathbed will is a will that is drafted before the impending death of a person
  • A handwritten will is a will that is drafted by the testator in writing.

Which will do people opt for most often?
  • Oral Will
  • Deathbed Will
  • Handwritten Will

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