Actor Patsy Byrne Leaves Majority Of £1.5m Estate To Youngest Stepdaughter

Four Stepdaughters Of Deceased Blackadder Star Received £20,000 Each, With The Rest Going To The Fifth


Actor Patsy Byrne was found to have vastly underestimated her personal fortune in advance of her death at the age of 80 last year, her family has revealed.

Ms Byrne's will called for the oldest four of her five stepdaughters to receive £20,000 each, with any remaining money going to the youngest.

However, the full extent of the actor's estate means that, after contributions had been made to a variety of charities, hospices, and the Theatrical Guild, youngest stepdaughter Monica Seccombe will inherit as much as £900,000.

Ms Seccombe plans to share the full inheritance equally among herself and her four sisters. "When she drew up her will, she didn't realise how much money she had," she said. "Her estate will be distributed equally to all her stepchildren."

The arrangement is perhaps not quite the oversight that it may appear. As Ms Seccombe is a construction industry lawyer, Ms Byrne had always wanted her youngest stepdaughter to handle her financial affairs after her death.

"There was no family bust-up; she just wanted me to sort things out after her death as I am a solicitor," she said.

Expert Opinion
This is an interesting case in which the facts suggest that the deceased may have underestimated the estate she would be leaving to her family, but fortunately for all involved it appears that the assets in question will be shared evenly.

"We see many cases when matters do not run as smoothly, with families being driven apart by disputes and arguments related to how loved ones intended their estates to be distributed. This can sometimes lead to not just costly and time-consuming legal battles, but also means those involved may face significant emotional turmoil. It is however often possible to resolve matters without the need for Court action and we use various methods, including mediation, to ensure that the costs and emotional impact of a will dispute are limited.

"It is important for anyone preparing a will to have a proper understanding of the assets they need to consider within it and the value of the estate they are leaving behind. Failing to do so could have major consequences."
Julia Burns, Associate