Summary of Tennessee's Will Requirements:

Minimum Age to Make a Will 18
Written Document Required Yes
Nuncupative Wills (Oral) Yes1
Holographic Wills (Hand-Written, Unwitnessed) Yes
Number of Witnesses Required 2
Self-Proving Affidavit No
Statutory Form for Self-Proving Affidavit No




Statutes Governing Tennessee's Will Requirements:


Persons qualified to make a will

Any person of sound mind eighteen (18) years of age or older may make a will.

Tennessee Code, 32-1-102.


Witnesses - Who may act

(a)  Any person competent to be a witness generally in this state may act as attesting witness to a will.

(b)  No will is invalidated because attested by an interested witness, but any interested witness shall, unless the will is also attested by two (2) disinterested witnesses, forfeit so much of the provisions therein made for the interested witness as in the aggregate exceeds in value, as of the date of the testator's death, what the interested witness would have received had the testator died intestate.

(c)  No attesting witness is interested unless the will gives to the attesting witness some personal and beneficial interest.

Tennessee Code, 32-1-103.


Will other than holographic or nuncupative

The execution of a will, other than a holographic or nuncupative will, must be by the signature of the testator and of at least two (2) witnesses as follows:

(1) The testator shall signify to the attesting witnesses that the instrument is the testator's will and either:

(A) The testator sign;

(B) Acknowledge the testator's signature already made; or 

(C) At the testator's direction and in the testator's presence have someone else sign the testator's name; and

(D) In any of the above cases the act must be done in the presence of two (2) or more attesting witnesses. 

(2) The attesting witnesses must sign:

(A) In the presence of the testator; and

(B) In the presence of each other.

Tennessee Code, 32-1-104.


Holographic will

No witness to a holographic will is necessary, but the signature and all its material provisions must be in the handwriting of the testator and the testator's handwriting must be proved by two (2) witnesses.

Tennessee Code, 32-1-105.


Nuncupative will1

(a)  A nuncupative will may be made only by a person in imminent peril of death, whether from illness or otherwise, and shall be valid only if the testator died as a result of the impending peril, and must be:

(1) Declared to be the testator's will by the testator before two (2) disinterested witnesses;

(2) Reduced to writing by or under the direction of one (1) of the witnesses within thirty (30) days after such declaration; and

(3) Submitted for probate within six (6) months after the death of the testator.

(b)  The nuncupative will may dispose of personal property only and to an aggregate value not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), except that in the case of persons in active military, air or naval service in time of war the aggregate amount may be ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(c)  A nuncupative will neither revokes nor changes an existing written will. 

Tennessee Code, 32-1-106.


Foreign execution

A will executed outside this state in a manner prescribed by §§ 32-1-101 - 32-1-108, inclusive, or a written will executed outside this state in a manner prescribed by the law of the place of its execution or by the law of the testator's domicile at the time of its execution, shall have the same force and effect in this state as if executed in this state in compliance with those sections.

Tennessee Code, 32-1-107.


Affidavit of witnesses to prove will

Any or all of the attesting witnesses to any will may, at the request of the testator or, after the testator's death, at the request of the executor or any person interested under the will, make and sign an affidavit before any officer authorized to administer oaths in or out of this state, stating such facts as they would be required to testify to in court to prove the will, which affidavit shall be written on the will or, if that is impracticable, on some paper attached thereto, and the sworn statement of any such witness so taken shall be accepted by the court of probate when the will is not contested as if it had been taken before such court.

Tennessee Code, 32-2-110.


[Reference - Tennessee Requirements for a Will]