- (Reuters/Tim Wimborne)
$12.5 million has been left to a neighbor of a wealthy Australian widow. The rich woman left her entire estate to a friendly neighbor who had shown her kindness by buying her groceries and helped her with simple chores around the house.
Betty Harris, who was 95 years old when she passed away in 2009, had left a will leaving her entire estate to her kind neighbor, who had apparently touched her heart with her generosity to help her in the later years of her life.
However, that will sparked a fierce legal battle as others said the will was not valid and the estate should not be handed over to the neighbor.
But on Wednesday a judge ruled that the will of Betty Harris was valid and that her neighbor, Beatrice Gray, should inherit her fortune, according to news.com.au.
The legal battle was waged because Harris had previously written a will leaving her entire estate to her niece, Coralie Hart. However, in April 2005, Harris amended her will just four years before her death. At the time, according to reports, she had suspected that her family were trying to take her fortune and place her in a nursing home.
"The Grays would be surprised, (while) my family are waiting for me to die," Harris said, according to news.com.au. "I am determined that my relatives, after what they have put me through, will not get one cent."
Harris became ill in 2005, and was supported by her neighbor Gray and her then-husband for financial and moral support.
It has been reported that the Grays would visit Harris often, and make sure her bills were paid on time. They helped her organize and keep her finances and house in order, and even helped take out the garbage regularly as she became more sick.