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1. If you want to be the one in this situation with your mother dying who controls what happens, you need to take out the Grant of Probate to the estate of your mother and become the Administrator of her affairs. That would then allow you to deal with the house and handle her affairs including her estate. From what you have said, this is the role which your brother has taken on and as a result, he can stop you entering your mother´s house, because he is the Administrator of the estate, or clearly intends to be. Be aware that it is the first who extracts a Grant of Probate who is made the Administrator. So, it is essentially a race to see who gets there first. However, you should also consider dealing with your brother so that he allows you access to take away any private mementos of your mother. I would suggest you do write a letter asking for a key and asking who is solicitor if you don´t decide to take out Probate yourself. However, if your brother is Administrator, then he will decide what happens to the house. Be aware that you will ultimately be able to access the house because under the rules for intestacy, the house has to be put in the joint names of the two beneficiaries, which are you and your brother.
2. If you require any clarification or if there is additional information you wish to share, I will be happy to assist further in the resolution of your question.
3. Be aware that a someone entitled to a share in the residue of the estate, you are entitled to a full account of the Probate when it is finished. So, in many respects, you have to ultimately be informed what happened. However, in the meantime, I would suggest you write to your brother and ask to be kept informed. Just be aware that there is no legally enforceable right to be told of all that is going on. So, just realise that you cannot go to court to enforce a right to information.