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Neighbor inherits $12.5 million

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, December 3, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

A little kindness goes a long way. Just ask the Sydney, Australia, neighbors of Betty Harris, who were surprised to learn they had inherited her $12.5 million estate upon her death in 2009.

The neighbors, Beatrice Gray and her husband, Robert, brought Harris bread and milk, helped her with her chores and paid her bills.

The widowed Harris had no children and was estranged from her nieces and nephews. One niece, the prior beneficiary of the estate before Harris revised her will, waged a nasty, two-year legal battle but lost. According to Australia's News.com, the niece wanted to put Harris in a nursing home against her wishes. Harris also told people she hadn't spoken to her nieces or nephews for 13 years and she swore they would get none of her wealth.

Although a doctor determined Harris, age 95 when she died, was suffering from mild dementia in 2005 when she revised her will, the court did not believe she was unaware of her actions.

News.com reported that Harris had explained her bequest by saying: "The Grays would be surprised, (while) my family are waiting for me to die." She added that "I am determined that my relatives after what they have put me through will not get one cent."

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December 08, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Still don't understand why people have a right to sue when they don't get somebody's hard earned money after the person pass away with a will. Don't people have a right to leave their money to whomever they want? Why do this becomes a legal issue for the courts to become involved? Just don't understand someone coming out saying they are the one entitled to the money inspite of the fact the person left a will and left them out. They still have not buried Sherman Hemsley from the TV show The Jeffersons after 4 months. Because they are contesting the will due to who he left his money to. A relative think they should get the money. Unbelievable!!!!!!!

December 08, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I willed my daughter 500 dollars. Which would cover the bus tickets to my funeral; which she insists she would not miss. That should take care of any confusion. My ex wife and her live of off the taxpayers. I'm sure the both of them require a dozen taxpayers to support them (at least). My daughter has basically never worked and has several kids. I've never been anything but kind to her and her often mother; whom put her hooks into me. My daughter has visited me twice in her life; and she insisted on bleeding me both times. She missed one plane and I had to cover the costs of a second... so she could come up and go shopping while setting me back thousands in each incident. North American families are among the most wicked in the world. Though there are others. In the grand scheme of things; U.S. families are the work of the devil. A function of the warped gov't and lib policies. I paid for my sins. They won't get one red cent more. My money will go overseas to people whom deserve it. My grave will hopefully be unmarked and peaceful. I hope my daughter does not know where I'm buried though. All my American family needs to know is that I'm gone. I would have placed a curse on my headstone for a reminder to this country; but the laws forbid it here. Can't wait for judgment day. This is one wicked country. By the way... I nurture my daughter and she thinks I love her so much. Why warp her for what I think. Right now she is traveling to her grand dads funeral thinking they'll get something. Her liberal bleeding days are numbered.

December 08, 2012 at 4:29 pm

WTF is John Y blabbering about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 08, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I think this is a great story. When your family wants nothing to do with you and neighbors are taking care of you out of kindness and not expecting anything in return is genuie. Blood is not thicker than water in this case. If someone wants to put you away because you won't die, that person wouldn't even get mentioned in my obituary.

December 08, 2012 at 1:02 pm

love thy neighbor........

December 07, 2012 at 12:46 pm

BAD IDEA. She could have avoided the two-year attack on her wishes by willing her relatives SOMETHING, like $2 million to share between them, and then putting in a standard clause that says THEY GET NOTHING IF THEY ATTACK THE WILL. This is a standard, common clause that a GOOD lawyer and smart benefactor would have included.

Coletta Long
December 07, 2012 at 11:52 am

How do I subscribe to this webpage and the blogs?

John Y
December 06, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Sorry not bitter nor jealous, I'll leave those for you. I just believe you are not using the brains "God" gave you as if you were you would see the folly of your beliefs.

Loving a neighbor is not a Christian owned concept. It started way before Christianity, like most of the bible's stories, but then facts don't bother you obviously. I don't believe in religion, yours or any other. They have no basis in fact and merely are tools for one group to control and impose their will on others. I am a very spiritual person but that has nothing to do with religion. I have no invisible man in the clouds to hope protects me. You are all so immature. When you pray to "God" and you get what you want, you thank him. When you pray and don't get what you want you say it was God's will. So then praying does nothing by your own process since God's will is always what will happen. Or are you suggesting YOU can change almighty God's will? It is just so childish and sheepish to just follow along blindly. I know you see that as a badge of faith but that is yours to deal with.

Maryann Martel
December 04, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Good for her, I hope it annoys that rotten family for the rest of their lives. A little kindness goes a long way!

December 04, 2012 at 5:26 pm

This sounds like the plot to Clint Eastwood's movie - Torino.