A Florida estate beneficiary has no obligation for the payment of estate or gift taxes. The Personal Representative (administrator) is obligated to ensure all federal and state taxes are paid prior to making any distributions to a beneficiary. The inheritance will also not be subject to Federal income taxes. Enjoy the inheritance.
This answer is based upon the limited information provided in your question. Assuming there is three or more beneficiaries named on the TOD account, then the surviving beneficiaries will inherit the account and divide it based upon the number then living. If two beneficiaries were named and one predeceased, then the surviving beneficiary will solely inherit the account. If only one beneficiary is named and they predecease the account owner, the TOD fails and the account becomes a probate asset.
After the Personal Representative for your estate is appointed, he or she will publish a Notice to Creditors in the local paper. The Notice will run for two consecutive weeks. All creditors will have a three month period, from the date of the first notice being published, to file a creditor claim against the estate. If a creditor fails to file during this 90 day window, any claim they may have will be terminated.
Since she passed away over two years ago you can file for Summary Administration and obtain all of the funds remaining in her account(s). In most cases, Social Security will withdraw any overpayments that it makes (assuming it is aware of her death). If it has continued to pay her, during the two year period, I would notify them of the mistake so they can take back the benefiits that were not owed to her.
Since your father was not married, at his death, and died without a Will (called "intestate"), the only individuals who have rights to his estate are his living children. Your ex-step-mother has NO legal rights to enter your father's residence or grant anyone else access to it. All assets in the residence are estate property and would pass solely to his heirs (the 3 surviving children).
You should engage legal counsel and file for Probate as soon as possible. You will need a copy of his...
Since her Will has not been filed or probate commenced, you should file a caveat with the court. That will protect you (by requiring that you receive notice) in case the Will is deposited with the court or probate attempted. However, in light of the fact that nothing has taken place in nine plus months, all of her accounts and assets may have been jointly titled with him. If that was the case, then no probate will be required and everything would pass to him automatically by operation of law.
I would hire a probate lawyer and utilize the Florida probate process of Summary Administration (less than $75,000). She can be served notice and if she does not respond, the court can issue an order effecting the distribution to all beneficiaries.
Tenants by the entireties reflects ownership by husband and wife. Since you have joint names on the title a creditor of only one of you will not be able to take possession or force the sale of the property (without the consent of the joint owner). Without the benefit of first reviewing the document I can advise you that you are protected.
Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss in greater detail. I am also licensed in CT and RI.
Under Florida law, a beneficiary of a probate estate has an entitlement to disclosure of estate assets, liabilities and status of the legal proceedings. This information should be provided to you by the Personal Representative. If you are not receiving this information, after formal written requests, you can petition to have the Personal Representative removed for failing to fulfill their fiduciary obligations to the estate beneficiaries.
I would sent a written request for the information,...