Estate Planning has its own vocabulary. To help you speak the language, we've created a glossary of the more commonly used words and phrases. This glossary is comprised of 26 individual pages, one for each letter of the alphabet. To find a particular word or phrase that starts with the letter "N" - simply scroll down the list below. If your word or phrase starts with another letter, please use the alphabet index below.




A "nominee" is a person or entity who agrees to hold an asset for the sole benefit of the owner. In contrast, a trustee is a person or entity who agrees to hold an asset for the benefit of someone other than the owner. A typical situation involving a nominee is where a purchaser of stock agrees to leave the stock certificate with the brokerage firm to facilitate a future sale and to allow the firm to collect dividends. The brokerage firm serves as a nominee since it holds the stock solely for the benefit of the owner.

Nuncupative Will

A "nuncupative will" is an oral will that is generally considered to be a "deathbed" will. It is the type of will that is made by a person with a terminal illness or other life-threatening condition that makes it impossible to prepare a written document that complies with all the formal requirements for a valid will.

Most states do not allow for nuncupative wills because of the high probability of fraud associated with them. However, some states do allow for nuncupative wills in limited circumstances; i.e., if there are two (2) independent witnesses and the nuncupative will only provides for the disposition of personal property. See State Requirements to Make a Will.