Beg your pardon? Nobody would suggest using MS Word or anything similar (though we've had a post by someone who used something like that and saved the script in RTF format). I just tested this with Perl 5.8.9 (rather dated, don't you think) and it doesn't care whether the script is 8bit, utf8 with or without BOM, utf16LE or utf16BE. All work fine.
Enoch was right!
Enjoy the last years of Rome.