Unless the lawsuit is against you (you are a named party?), with regard to how the POD account came about to have you listed as its beneficiary, then the bank should not freeze the account. Without any legal basis, the bank cant just freeze an account because a lawsuit has been filed. Have your attorney contact them and get the account un-frozen.
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.
It means that the Will did not contain the requisite two witnesses as required under Florida law. As a result, the document is not being accepted into probate by the court. Unless a properly signed and attested document is located and filed with the court, it will be viewed as if your half-brother died intestate (without a Will).
Your Mom is correct that if she puts both of her children's name on a bank account it will pass to them. What she is not considering is that if either one of you should gets sued, the bank account could be attachable. In addition, if the account is jointly titled, any account signatory could withdraw all of the funds at any time. It would be better to name you both as "pay on death" beneficiaries of the account.
Probate usually takes 6 months to complete (there is a 3 month creditor claims...
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.
Two witnesses and a notary public should witness and stamp your Will (to make it self-proving). I agree with the earlier comment that you are making a big mistake by doing it yourself. Most internet or store bought forms do not comply with Florida law and cause more problems then they are worth.