My mother passed away exactly two weeks ago. She was suffering from pancreatic cancer. It is the fourth most common type of cancer in the United States and my mother fell victim to it. When she died, she left me her house, a large sum of cash, and her dear collie, Ginger. My brother, two years my senior, a frequent visitor of rehab, received her car and less than half of what I received in cash. He is now physically threatening me to hand over the house and the money that he feels he deserves.
My mother knew that my brother is a drug addict. She’s witnessed his gradual descent into heroin and oxycontin. It started in college, and it gradually got worse as he dropped out. He did have his moment, though. When he found out our mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he went to trade school, became an appliance technician, tried to get off of heroin — which ended up with him becoming addicted to oxycontin — and his eventual relapse. My mother was really happy to hear that he had sent himself to rehab. It was one of those rare, radiant smiles that brightened up the room. But she knew he wouldn’t last — at least, that’s what I thought, because she didn’t seem surprised at all to hear that he had been found, high on heroin, in his apartment by a family friend.
I don’t know how many times my brother went to visit her. I do know that it was less than a handful of times. I guess he couldn’t bear to see her like that. I saw my mother breathe her last breath in. Her last words to me were, “Take care of your brother. I love you.” He wasn’t there when she died. He wasn’t there when she was buried. I want to uphold her wishes, but I don’t know what to do.
He was there when the probate lawyer called us to discuss our mother’s will. At the end of the session, he was seething. “Why the fuck are you getting the house?” he shouted at me. “I deserve it, I deserve it, I’m fucking older than you!” he pointed and screamed. I was escorted out of the office. My brother called my phone over a dozen times in the hour that followed. He left 8 voicemails in that time and 17 nasty text messages. He wants the house and an equal portion of the cash.
I don’t know what to do. He has called my house, threatened my husband and me. I don’t want to call the police, because, to be quite honest, he is still my brother, and I do want to help him. I want to uphold my mother’s dying wishes. I can’t will myself to call or ask my husband to call the police. What do I do?