A deceased estate in Remuera has sold at auction for $2.45m - with the proceeds going to two grateful charities.

Most of the money from the sale of Brian and Beth Frankham's character home on Rangitoto Ave in the prestigious double grammar zone was left to the Neurological Foundation and Presbyterian Support Northern.

Small bequests were also made to family members.

Beth passed away in 2008 and Brian passed away this year. The generous couple had no children but doted on many nieces, nephews and extended family.

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Family who attended the Bayley's-run auction were thrilled with the result and pleased to get the very best for those in need.

Generous in life and death: Brian and Beth Frankham on their wedding day 55 years ago. Photo / supplied
Generous in life and death: Brian and Beth Frankham on their wedding day 55 years ago. Photo / supplied

Bidding on the house, which has a council valuation of $1.56 million, started at $1.6m and quickly rose to $2m.

At one point bids were jumping by $10,000 a second.

The winning bid on the two-bedroom home on a 1000sqm section was made by a developer. The under bidder was an investor.

"We would have liked the house to go to a family but we also had a responsibility to get the best possible price for Beth and Brian's charities," great niece Catherine Olsen said.

"Given the condition of the house we always knew there was a possibility it would be a developer."

The auction was an emotional time for the family who spent many Christmas holidays at the home with their aunt and uncle.

The Frankhams, who were married for 55 years, bought the two-storey weatherboard home before they wed and spent the rest of their lives there.

Family members Josie, Paul, Joan and Catherine Olsen said the charities are close to their hearts. Photo / Kirsty Wynn
Family members Josie, Paul, Joan and Catherine Olsen said the charities are close to their hearts. Photo / Kirsty Wynn

"When we prepared the house for sale we wish we had Beth and Brian there with us because there were so many lovely things we had questions about," Olsen said.

"Sorting through all of their things was like going for a walk through social history."

Brian was a lecturer at the University of Auckland and Beth was involved in the women's club so the university has asked to keep some of the couple's historical paperwork to archive.

"They kept everything so there are really interesting papers from when Brian started working there in the 1960s," Olsen said.

Both the Neurological Foundation and Presbyterian Support Northern were thrilled with the generous bequests and said the money was earmarked for special projects.

Neurological Foundation executive director Max Ritchie said the organisation was deeply grateful to the Frankhams and their extended family.

"Mr Frankham was a loyal supporter of the Neurological Foundation and brain research over many years, and this most generous legacy will greatly contribute to securing the future funding of neurological research in New Zealand," he said.

Rod Watts from Presbyterian Support said bequests were used for special initiatives rather than for operational costs.

"We help a lot of vulnerable people in our community which we would not be able to do without generous bequests like this," he said.

Olsen said the two charities were close to the family's hearts.

Presbyterian Support gave Brian a lot after Beth passed away and members of the immediate family had vascular dementia and Alzheimers.

The couple had also been generous throughout their lives supporting their local community where they could.

Olsen said there was a special focus on vulnerable women and children and the couple gave support and money to IHC, Plunket and Women's Refuge.