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Actor’s Will ‘Demonstrates Importance Of Family Understanding’

Case 'Highlights Value Of Involving Loved Ones In Process'


The case of a Scottish actor who left his estate to a friend rather than his family highlights how involving loved ones in will writing can prevent future problems, an estate disputes expert at Irwin Mitchell has outlined.

Reports have revealed that Gerard Kelly, who was known for roles in City Lights and Extras, left his entire £145,000 estate to Terry Kiely and nothing to his three siblings.

However, a friend has highlighted that the decision, which the family was fully aware of, was inspired by Gerard’s belief that his loved ones would be financially secure in the event of his passing.

Terry Kiely, who currently works at a swimming pool, said his friendship with Mr Kelly led him to view the actor as “a father figure”.

Adam Draper, an associate solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s Wills, Trust & Estate Dispute team, said this example highlighted how preparation and understanding can make a massive difference and prevent family members contesting the will further down the line.

He explained: “It is welcome to see a case of this kind, in which family members who may have otherwise expected to receive some benefit from a will understand the wishes of the deceased who wants leave it to someone else.

“However, this scenario also highlights the importance of making a will and how it can be vital to discuss the terms of the document with relatives so that they are fully prepared for such a move and understand the reasons why – the kind of issues raised in Gerry Robinson’s recent BBC series Can’t Take It With You.

“Keeping loved ones involved in the process can make a big difference and ensure that they are able to grieve without facing the storm or stress of a contested will dispute in the courts.  

If you are involved in a will dispute or need further information about contesting a will, please visit our Will, Trust & Estate Disputes section