Having a well-drafted will in place (often linked to a family trust) can provide great relief and comfort for your family and friends upon your death.

For wills made after 01 November 2007, it is possible for the High Court to validate a will which has not been properly attested. This power cannot be invoked for wills made prior to 01 November 2007.

Consequently, it may be possible for some rather unusual wills to be validated by the High Court.

Overseas, a holographic will is a will and testament that has been entirely handwritten and signed by the testator. Normally, a will must be signed by witnesses attesting to the validity of the testator's signature and intent, but in many jurisdictions, holographic wills that have not been witnessed are treated equally to witnessed wills and need only to meet minimal requirements in order to be probated.

Holographic wills are common and are often created in emergency situations, such as when the testator is alone, trapped and near death. Jurisdictions that do not generally recognise un-witnessed holographic wills will accordingly grant exceptions to mariners or members of the armed services who are involved in armed conflicts and sailors at sea, though in Aotearoa both cases the validity of the holographic will expires 12 months after it is drafted..

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the shortest will in the world as "All to wife," written on the bedroom wall of a man who realized his imminent demise and made a swift attempt to distribute his chattels before expiring. It clearly meets the minimum requirements, being his own work and no one else's. On June 8, 1948 in Saskatchewan, Canada, a farmer named Cecil George Harris who had become trapped under his own tractor carved a will into the tractor's fender. It read "In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife. Cecil Geo. Harris" The fender was probated and stood as his will. The fender is currently on display at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law law library.

There are many tractors in Aotearoa, but should you not have a handy tractor fender, we urge you to call Rennie Cox now and arrange to have a comprehensive will drawn up which is tailored to your specific needs ....