Thank you for responding so quickly. The answers to your questions are:
1. Probate was granted on 3 Oct 2014
2, The value of the estate was £642,015.00 which includes the value of a flat left to me.
I would like you to take the following information into account in responding back to me.
1. My mother left the bulk of her estate to me and bequeathed £20,000.00 to my brother.
2. In a codicil she explained the reasons for the lesser provision in the case of my brother.
In summary it is because he left for South Africa 35 years ago returning to the UK in 2001. During that period he got married and then relied on my parents to assist him financially throughout his stay in South Africa. On his return with his wife in 2001 he remained with meagre means and continued to rely on our parents financially. Shortly after he became virtually homeless and this time my mother agreed to give them £20,000.00 towards the purchase of a studio flat. Even though fit and able to work he kept badgering my mother for money as and when he ran short. That pattern continued to the time of her death. During all this time his wife never sought employment to bolster their finances.
My mother is on record as to how severely the constant hand-outs to my brother depleted her savings and how she had to neglect her own needs. In contrast to my brother's inconsiderate attitude towards my parents I worked and supported my parents to the extent that I did not get married. My mother is also on record to that fact.
In leaving the bulk of her estate to me my mother asked me to exercise fair judgement in any future dealings or arrangement concerning my brother's welfare. I have to state to you quite clearly that I never had the opportunity to discuss my mothers estate with my brother as he immediately instituted a claim against me within weeks of my mothers funeral.
I also have to let you know that the solicitor who was recommended to me has advised me he has calculated under the Dependency Act that I am obliged to offer him a sum of £17.500.00 as he is entitled to it. Is that the case?
What I am seeking from you is advise on how I should deal with my brothers claims and his threats to take legal action or push me prematurely into a mediation procedure. In essence I need advise on how to best deal with my brothers bullying tactics.
With my thanks and appreciation for your interest.