Sally Syron has no one to look after her now her husband and son have gone.
The Philippine-born grandmother lost her husband four years ago and her only son, 39-year-old Ronel Barrameda, died of cancer in August 2010 after four painful months in hospital.
But the hotel cleaners distress has been made worse now that she is fighting CareSuper for $15,000 from her sons superannuation to repay the money she spent burying him.
The CareSuper chief executive, Julie Lander, told Fairfax Media there was no flexibility on the issue as Mr Barramedas four young children have been listed as beneficiaries for his $294,560. It serves as a timely reminder that people must have their finances in order, she said.
But the CareSuper trustees refusal to release money has not deterred Ms Syron, who has hired a solicitor, David Leamey, to pursue her case. I have nothing I dont know what I am going to do, she said. I dont want any of his money for me, its to cover the funeral costs.
Ms Syron said she had stopped working for four months to be by her sons side when he was treated for lymphoma at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
She took money from her own super fund to pay $9624.90 for the funeral costs and the $5000 headstone at Forest Lawn cemetery in Leppington.
Mr Barrameda left his super to his four children, two of whom live in the Philippines, but did not stipulate any details about funeral or other costs over his death.
His former partner and mother of two children, Nancy, agrees the fund should cover the funeral costs. Ive tried so hard, she said. Its not fair. She deserves to receive the costs.
Ms Lander said Ms Syrons complaints were part of this widespread issue: Its terrible but this is the way trusts work.
Super does not form part of a persons estate. A funds trust must determine, for the death benefit, who the deceased supported.
If the deceased was not supporting his mother then, unfortunately, the way trust law works is, you cant give her any money, Ms Lander said. Its nothing personal.