The short answer to your question is, yes it is. It is tax evasion if any inheritance tax is due on the value of the estate and its potentially fraud if one of the beneficiaries is disadvantaged by this.
Your understanding is absolutely correct.
If your brother is the executor there is nothing to stop him buying the assets but he would need independent valuations or valuations agreed by all of the beneficiaries.
Unless the assets were left to him in the will then unless there is an agreement with the other beneficiaries, they have to be sold although he can buy them but even then, the value still needs to be declared for probate purposes.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
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