The man accused of murdering Wanganui woman Marice McGregor told his brother a suicidal woman had made him the sole benefactor in her will.

Dean Richard Mulligan, 45, has pleaded not guilty in the High Court at Wanganui to bashing Ms McGregor's head with an iron bar and leaving her for dead in a ravine at Whiskey Bend, on the Wanganui-Ohakune highway, on April 19, last year.

Ms McGregor's body was discovered a month later.

Mulligan's lawyer, Stephen Ross, told the court told the court in his opening statement that Mulligan's subsequent confession to the murder to police was a "tissue of lies".

Today, Mulligan's brother, Shaun Mulligan, gave evidence that Mulligan told him in January last year he knew a woman who was two or three months away from committing suicide.

The woman had left him everything in her will, including a house in Whanganui, Mr Mulligan said.

The trial is in its second day before Justice Denis Clifford.

Ms McGregor's friend Elaine Moles told the court Ms McGregor had told her that she loved Mulligan, who she met on an internet dating site.

Concerned when Ms McGregor later told her she had lent him money and didn't have enough to pay her bills, Ms Moles warned her that she was being used. "You've got to stop doing this".

Evidence was also given by Ronald John Stoneham, a financial advisor, about the increasing frequency and the size of withdrawals from Ms McGrgeor's investments in the 18 months she knew Mulligan.

Some of it was for "urgent surgery" for her partner, some for his "ex-wife" and some for vehicle repairs.

Mr Stoneham said he spoke with Ms McGregor about his concern that she was being taken advantage of by Mulligan.

Ms McGregor later visited John van Delden, a legal executive who had earlier prepared two wills for her, and asked him to draw up a deed acknowledging debts owed by Mulligan, whom she described as a company director.

She said he was her boyfriend and had some money issues involving his ex-wife and the custody of his children.

Mr van Delden said she was like a teenage girl. He advised her not to lend Mulligan any more money until the debt was acknowledged.

Originally she said the debt was $50,000 but in January 2010, three months before her death, this was later reduced to around $17,000, the figure Mulligan acknowledged was owing.

Other documents, showing additional sums of money owing, had nothing to do with him, he said.

The trial is expected to last 10 days.

- NZPA