All About Estates

Can a will be written on any surface?

In 1984 in Australia a man wrote a will on the wall of his bedroom. In London England it is rumoured a will was written on the door of a man’s house in red chalk. In Saskatchewan a will was written on a tractor’s fender. A pilot in the 1920s wrote his will on an egg shell. If the court registrar is required to see the original will, what is a lawyer to do?

In the case of the wall writing the solicitor contacted the Registrar of Probates and asked if it was necessary to remove a portion of the wall (which was possible as that part of the wall was plasterboard). The registrar advised a picture would suffice.

The applicants for the will written on the door were not so lucky. They removed the door and brought it to court to prove its validity.

The will written on the tractor fender was scratched into the fender by Mr. Harris after an accident as he was pinned under the tractor. The writing on the fender states: “In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife. Cecil Geo. Harris.” The fender was removed and probated and stood as his will. The fender is currently on display at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law law library.

Lesson Learned: Paper is not the only thing to write a will on but it is certainly the most practical!

Until next time

Jasmine Sweatman

About Jasmine Sweatman