An elderly bachelor was ravaged by Parkinson's disease and dementia when he signed away his £2 million fortune to a relative, a retired Birmingham doctor, a court has been told.
Joseph McClintock made the will in January 1999, just two years before he died at the age of 84, and left everything to his nephew's wife, Vivien Calderwood
The will is being challenged by Dr McClintock's 79-year-old brother Eric, from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
He told the High Court in London yesterday that Mr McClintock, a former doctor who practised in Chingford, Essex, was an "imbecile" and did not "know or approve" of what he was doing when he wrote the will.
The retired businessman, who has spent "every penny" of his savings on bringing the case because he cannot get legal aid, said he believed it was his brother's wish to die intestate.
The court heard that Mr McClintock, an "independent" man who had never married or had children, suffered increasing ill-health before moving into the St Ives old people's home in Chingford in 1998.
When he died of pneumonia on April 9, 2001, he had Parkinson's and required constant care from staff at a nursing home in Chingford.
"Quite naturally, I was concerned about his diminished capability," said Eric.
He added that his brother had always told him he could expect something when he died, but when he finally passed away he was left nothing.
After his death, Eric asked Mrs Calderwood - with whom he argued at his brother's funeral - if he could have a share of the estate, but she declined all attempts at mediation, the court heard.
Emily Campbell, for Mrs Calderwood, said although Dr McClintock was ill, he knew exactly what he was doing when he signed away his estate.
She said there was "nothing suspicious" about the will and an accusation that Mrs Calderwood had "unduly influenced" the pensioner had already been dismissed by a judge.
Ms Campbell conceded Dr McClintock had a "history of confusion" from 1997 onwards, but he had good days and bad days.
Dr McClintock's former stockbroker, Len Cunningham, described him as "a very astute old devil" who spent his life dealing shares.
"Before he went into this place he was very astute," said Mr Cunningham. "He was buying stuff other people wouldn't touch with a barge pole but he was making money out of it."
Mr Cunningham said he had failed to pay in dozens of dividend cheques while he was living on his own and they were lying around his home.
Describing Dr McClintock as "dazed" when he saw him shortly after he was admitted to the home, Mr Cunningham said he had " declined considerably".
He added that, on another occasion, he had paid a visit with his secretary but the bachelor "hardly recognised" her despite knowing her well and playing golf with her father.
Mr Cunningham, who insisted that he "didn't care" where the legacy went, said he was again "not himself" on another occasion when he visited Dr McClintock.
Outside court Eric McClintock - who revealed he was suffering from cancer and chest problems - said that if he was successful in his legal battle, his brother's legacy would be split four ways. If he is ruled to have died intestate, Dr McClintock's fortune will pass to Eric and his three other surviving siblings; his two sisters and a brother.
The case continues.