Special Needs Trusts are very tricky instruments, even for most attorneys. A mistake in drafting or funding a special needs trust can be very costly. Please do not try to do this on your own, but rather retain the services of an elder law attorney who knows these kinds of trusts.
I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's current living situation. That must be so awful for her.
From what you have written, it sounds like what your mother needs, given her dementia, is a guardianship. A good first step in the process is involving APS.
I'm so sorry to hear this. Like the other attorneys have said, it may be very difficult to get it back. However, you mentioned that you were "erroneously told at the time" that you should give it to your son. Was it an attorney who told you to do that? If that is the case, you may have a legal malpractice claim.
Either way you wish to proceed, you would most likely benefit from the advice of a good attorney.
I don't practice in California, so I'm not an expert on their system, but it does not seem like it would be unreasonable for your friend to have not heard anything for the three months immediately after death. However, if the probate has been started, the will would be in the file at the courthouse if your friend would like to look at it.
With that said, if there is any doubt as to how equitably the other brother will handle the probate, your friend might consider hiring an attorney in...
One thing your parents might consider is just making your grandfather's spouse an offer for the house. That would avoid the courts. Even if there was case law on the subject, case law only has effect if the matter is before a court. If the estate is really as small as you describe, it might be in everyone's best interests to try to accomplish the transfer without court involvement.
All the best.
This is a bit complicated and will probably require some kind of legal counsel. I would advise checking out what kind of help the legal aid organizations in Thurston County can give you as a first step. If they cannot take your case outright, they might at least be able to steer you toward the various forms you would need to take some steps yourself.
All the best.
You would need to provide more information in order to answer your question properly. Your first step, in any case, is to consult an attorney who is familiar with Indian Law (The term "Indian" is the legal term of art in this case. The laws have not kept up with the times as far as terminology goes). Depending on where the land is, you might need a lawyer who is licensed to practice before the courts of the tribe involved.
Without any more information, the only answer one could give is "it depends." There are several ways one could owe tax on a probated house, but it depends on a number of different factors.
This is one way that a good estate plan prepared by an attorney can save you time and money. With a well-planned estate, the tax liability can be minimized.