After my mother left my father in the early 1970's he made out a new will and I understood my brother who still loved with him also made out a will. At some point the legal firm (in Gosford) split or partners bought each other out. Prior to my mother's death in 2005 I contacted the lawyers re unacknowledged letter to them adding codicil to my mother's will. At that time I was advised that my father had changed his will and that they did not have a will for my brother. My mother subsequently made out a new will with solicitor in Huskisson. My father died in 2009 and I was executor for his will. At that time I again asked about my brother's will and was told they did not have one on record. My brother died last November 30th and I again asked if they had a will (he had acquired brain injury and was not in contact with family at this time due to anger issues).Again advised no will. As the eldest of his siblings and next of kin I went to a lawyer in Wollongong that I knew personally and asked if he would handle the estate. I went ahead and handled the funeral, met with social worker at St. Vincent's hospital, cleared out rotting food etc. from his flat. The day before the funeral I got an email from Gosford lawyer advising that they had in fact found his will made out in 1973 making my father's youngest sister sole beneficiary and executor. As I had already started doing the work of the executor, and taking into consideration her health and the health of her husband and the fact that they lived in Central Coast also, (my brother lived in housing commission flat at Maroubra Beach) I with permission of the lawyer, continued to handle the things that needed to be done and cleared out his disgusting flat, etc. etc. I had to make three trips to Sydney including picking up his ashes, and a trip to Gosford in mid January to take all the papers needed by the lawyer to handle the estate. I kept track of my mileage, time and out of pocket expenses and submitted this account to the lawyer. There was sufficient money in his estate to pay for his funeral, legal fees and my bill as he had inherited money from our father. My siblings and I were not worried about our aunt inheriting what was left. Last week I received a letter from the lawyer that my aunt is refusing to pay my expenses: no reason, no negotiations or compromise.My question is:is she able to just refuse to do this? is she able to receive the estate money without paying legitimate expenses for work done that she should have done as executor. The time I spent sorting through nearly 20 years of junk and papers to keep legal fees down surely should be taken into account. I should add that my two aunts who live on the central coast were very angry that they did not inherit anything from my father. Also, on the advice from the lawyer that my aunt was the person to make decision re disposition of my brother's ashes, I mailed the ashes to her as I was due for a knee replacement operation and did not want to drive to Gosford again as in some pain.Thank you for any advice you can can give me on how I should proceed.I sent an email to the lawyer in Gosford last Thursday with a list of questions but todate have had no reply. Carol Cruikshank, J.P. 0242-957131
noted in my email. thanks.
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