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planned giving and trust ser vices
The Tractor Fender Will
“On June 8, 1948, near Rosetown, Sask., a farmer became pinned under his tractor,”
began the speaker as he started the second session of the Wills Seminars. “Fearing he
might die, this farmer took out his pocket knife and etched these words on the tractor’s
fender: ‘In case I die in this mess, I leave all to the wife, Cecil Geo Harris.’” 1
“Did Mr. Harris make a legal will?” the Planned Giving director asked his audience.
He then answered his own question. “The farmer passed away the next day. The
tractor fender was removed and submitted to the courts, who determined that it
was indeed a valid holographic or handwritten will.”
The director then flicked these words on the screen:
Basically, there are three types of wills in Canada 2 :
Formal Will: This is a printed document signed by the testator (person making
the will) in the presence of at least two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the
will or spouses of beneficiaries. It is wise to have a formal will prepared by a lawyer
to avoid potential problems of an improperly worded or inadequately signed will.
Notarial: Similar to the formal will, the notarial will is only used in Quebec and
is prepared by a notary.
1 Jessica Brown, “Tractor Fender Will: Dying Saskatchewan Farmer’s Will
Goes Down in History,” Global News Toronto, October 25, 2013, http://
globalnews.ca/news/926746/dying-sk-farmers-will-goes-down-in- history. The seminar “speaker” in this story is hypothetical; his words
are borrowed from the article documented here.
2 Nothing in this article is to be considered legal advice. Wills and estate
Laws are under provincial jurisdiction and are subject to change.
Professional legal advice is always recommended.
Holographic: Completely handwritten, this type of will is signed and dated by
the testator. Experts advise against holographic wills because they can be more
easily misinterpreted or challenged. Some provinces may not consider them to
be legal documents.
A lively discussion followed about the uses, benefits and cost-effectiveness of
each will type. n
. . . To be continued in the next Messenger.
If someone painted a picture of
Jesus’ life, what would it look like?
Becky AT THE WESTMOUNT CHURCH IN QUEBEC, AND THE
BRAMPTON AND APPLE CREEK CHURCHES IN ONTARIO.
Krystal Williams: I picture a man whose sole purpose was to bless others, whether through a genuine smile to
a discouraged heart, a glass of water to a thirsty mouth, or a night in prayer for a struggling soul. I picture a
life of willing, joy-filled service and a heart that was satisfied to see the end results of His toil.
Derriann Cornwall: It would be an abstract painting with a variety of textures and bright colours.
These details would best represent the impact He had on the people He came in contact with
and His loving attributes.
Shirley Smith: Jesus was often weary from travelling and tired because of a lack of sleep and
not eating regularly. He would sometimes be deeply saddened and maybe even frustrated by
the condition of the world around Him. However, He would be calm and resolute, pressing on
every day, feeling great joy at the people who showed simple faith, and elated when people
believed in Him and determined in their hearts to follow Him.
Glenna Ogilvie: It would be one of love, mercy, forgiveness, non-judgmental, welcoming, and
sharing, with light emanating from it. It would be peaceful, and it would look like someone I would
want to know about in-depth.
M Fe b r u a r y 201 4