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Mum split her estate 50:50 between me and my brother but she gave him £50,000 the year before she died — can I deduct £50,000 from his share?

Almost certainly not.

Unless your mother was mentally incapable or under duress or undue influence at the time, she was entitled to make any gifts she wanted. And if she had then wanted to set the amount of that gift against your brother’s share under her will, she could have changed the will at any time.

As she did not do so, you are only entitled to 50 per cent of what she owned at her death.

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