Washington Law Review


Edward Starin


In the old days of our common law, when the art of writing was limited to but a comparative few, the idea of a nuncupative or oral will gained a fairly firm footing. But with the spread of the ability to write, such wills came to be looked upon with disfavor owing to the opportunities presented for fraud and perjury Hence as early as the reign of Henry VIII. important restrictions were imposed on the right and power to make a nuncupative will. Contemporary legal writers expressed the idea that such a will could be made only when the testator was seriously ill, fearing impending death and uncertain that he would live long enough to make a written will.

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