Betty Harris died aged 95 in 2009 and chose to leave her Sydney estate to her neighbour Beatrice Gray instead of family reports Australia’s Daily Telegraph.

She had felt her niece was trying to force her into a nursing home, and prior to her death 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.”

This led to a bitterly fought legal battle ensued with Mrs Harris’s niece in the Supreme Court, ending in Mrs Harris’ will being upheld.

Speaking from her home in the millionaire’s enclave of Point Piper, Sydney, this morning Mrs Gray told The Telegraph “I’m extremely grateful to Betty Harris”.

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. The Grays had helped Mrs Harris with chores and errands such as paying her bills, organise her car registration and the reinvestment of her money replace light bulbs and wheel out her recycling bin.

In his ruling today, Justice Richard White rejected arguments by Mrs Harris’s niece Coralie Hart that the will was invalid because Mrs Harris was deluded when she began thinking her greedy niece was trying to gain control of her fortune.

Mrs Harris was largely estranged from her nieces and nephews, telling hospital staff in 2005 that she had not spoken to them for 13 years, a court heard.

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”.

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