i agree with the previous answers you should contact a probate attorney to assist you as you feel that you are a beneficiary of the will. Once you start a probate matter you will be able to see the will and if one is not produced you would be entitled to a portion of the estate under the CA laws of distribution. I work in your area and would be happy to provide you with a free consultation. 714-943-2336.
The best advice is to seek an attorney to assist you as there is more than one possible course of action. It all depends on what were the circumstances and if any fiduciary duties may have been breached.
You should hire an attorney and go to court to determine your respective rights as this situation is problematic and it is best to have a court mandated agreement on custody time rather than relying on a verbal agreement which could end up with charges being filed against you.
That is an interesting question and I agree that you may be able to avoid gift tax as some of the other attorneys have suggested. Also, this may depend on any equity in the property, if you dont receive any value in this transaction then there is no gift. Feel free to contact me if you need help I am an attorney and CPA.
I agree with other attorney's, this will depend upon what the Judge's Order stated as far as the time frame for distribution. This sounds like an emergency situation for your brother and you may want to get an attorney ASAP so that you can prevent major problems and future lawsuits. Feel free to give me a call because you need to act fast. 714-943-2336.