There are several types of wills and each has legal requirements which make the will valid. There are handwritten will and wills which are typed by legal professionals. There are also nuncupative wills which are also known as oral wills or death bed wills.
These types of wills generally occur when individuals become suddenly ill and have not yet written a will. The nuncupative will or oral will, must be witnesses by at least two people, preferably by people that are not listed as beneficiaries.
These types of wills are often disputed in court for several reasons. First, the state of mind of an individual that has become suddenly ill, is often questioned. For example, beneficiaries may argue that the person was unable to think clearly, especially after being notified of their impending death.
In addition, the witnesses may not be considered valid for several reasons. First, witnesses to an oral will may indeed be beneficiaries, simply because it is generally family members and close friends that visit loved ones in the hospital. Witnesses that are listed beneficiaries can often be questioned and may not be considered legal witnesses to the will.
In some cases, hospitals may offer services in which the individual can request a legal witness to their nuncupative will. This may help the will to be upheld by the courts. In addition, it can be beneficial to have the will videotaped, so that the individuals wishes will be more likely to be upheld by the courts.