A RICH but lonely old lady has left her entire estate, worth $12.5 million to her neighbour, who bought her bread and milk and helped her manage her daily chores.
Betty Harris, who died aged 95 in 2009, chose to leave her estate to her neighbour in the millionaires enclave of Point Piper in Sydney after she felt her niece was trying to force her into a nursing home.
When Mrs Harris died, leaving her estate to neighbour Beatrice Gray, a bitterly fought legal battle ensued with Mrs Harris's niece in the Supreme Court.
Speaking from her Point Piper home this morning Mrs Gray told The Telegraph "I'm extremely grateful to Betty Harris".
Prior to her death Mrs Harris said she wanted to leave her money to Mrs Gray and her husband Robert because they were not expecting it and she trusted them.
"The Grays would be surprised, (while) my family are waiting for me to die," Mrs Harris said.
"I am determined that my relatives after what they have put me through will not get one cent."
The court heard Mrs Harris lived alone, and had no close friends after her husband died in 1991. She was not close to any of her relatives and her only interest was horse racing.
In 2005, shortly after she changed the will, Mrs Harris complained of her niece and nephews "they all want their bit of money". The court heard she complained her nephews were " a pretty pathetic lot" and called another niece, Anne Nickolls a "b***h".
The court heard that Mrs Harris was "humiliated" at losing her independence and having to ask for money from a financial manager, appointed by the Guardianship Tribunal in 2005.
During this time Mrs Harris borrowed money from Mrs Gray and her then husband Robert.
The Gray's lived next door to Mrs Harris in Wyuna Road, Point Piper for 33 years, until she died on September 17, 2009 aged 95, a court heard..
The Grays helped Mrs Harris pay her bills, organise her car registration and the reinvestment of her money Mrs Gray's late husband also helped Mrs Harris to replace light bulbs and wheel out her recycling bin.
The couple also checked on Mrs Harris's house to make sure she had not been robbed, and they kept a spare key for Mrs Harris.more