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Dying Man Writes Will on Tractor Fender with His Pocketknife


By: Jim Dossey, MS, MBA, JD

George Harris, a farmer in Canada, was pinned underneath his tractor on the afternoon of June 8, 1948. Harris was found 9 hours after the accident and rushed to the hospital, where he later died.

A few days later, men examining the accident site found something unusual. Harris had scratched his Will into the fender of the tractor using his pocket knife. His writing on the fender stated "In case I die in this mess, I leave all to the wife. – Cecil George Harris." The fender was later removed and submitted to the Canadian court as a valid holographic Last Will and Testament.

A "holographic Will" is a handwritten Will. To be valid in Texas, the holographic Will must be written and signed entirely in the handwriting of the Testator. Holographic Wills do not have to be signed by witnesses, so they are often used in emergency situations.

See Harris' Will at:

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