Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Estate Planning / Unusual will faced on legal hurdles

Unusual will faced on legal hurdles

We give great respect to the words and actions of the dying.

People have been convicted of murder based almost entirely on the words spoken by their victims as the end drew near.

And recently in Canada they celebrated the 65th anniversary of what’s been called the “most unique will ever written,” one that faced no legal challenges whatsoever in spite of being so out of the ordinary.

The last will and testament of farmer Cecil George Harris of Rosetown, Saskatoon, was brief and to the point. What made it so unusual is not what was written but where the will was created and the circumstances under which its author came to write it.

“Harris scratched out the will as he was dying in 1948, having been trapped for 10 hours beneath a tractor during a heavy storm,” according to a recent tory in The Canadian Press. “Using a pocket knife, Harris wrote on the tractor’s fender the words, ‘In case I die in this mess, I leave all to the wife.’

“He died in the hospital that night from his injuries.”

The technical name for such a document is a holograph will, or a hand-written will, Calgary lawyer Geoff Ellwand told a reporter for Canadian news radio station CKOM.

“While it wasn’t the first of its kind, he said the fender will has become known across the world,” reporter Bre McAdam wrote.

“This was one which was written under extraordinary circumstances on an extraordinary medium: the fender of a tractor,” Ellwand was wrote as saying. “It was written in a manner, very brief, there was no doubt about his wishes. And so the courts accepted it, without a blink.”

“A judge ordered that portion of the tractor cut off and it has been displayed under a piece of glass in the Law Library ever since,” The Canadian Press article stated.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn