I have physical and legal custody of her children for the past five years my nieces father who is my brother thinks he is entitled to it what exactly are these children entitled to
First, my condolences on the passing of your niece.
If your niece did not have a will, the distribution of her property is governed by the intestacy statutes. Under these statutes, the parent of the deceased may be able to inherit the property. However, they only have this right if the deceased person has no surviving spouse of issue (we can loosely define "issue" as direct lineal descendants...children, grandchildren, and so forth). If your nieces children are still alive and her parental relationship was not severed by adoption, then the children would have the right to inherit from her under the Pennsylvania intestacy laws. Your brother would not be able to inherit the money ("take under the statute"), generally.
If you have adopted your niece's children, however, there may be limitations on their ability to inherit. However, generally only having custody will not bar their ability to inherit.
I would strongly suggest you consult with an attorney, as this matter is likely to go before the Orphan's Court to be completely resolved if your brother is planning to challenge their right to inherit under the law.
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I second Mr. Tabler's advice verbatim. And this may well become an issue because if your niece's children are minors and she was unmarried at death, her father is the first in line to serve as administrator of her estate. Depending upon how trustworthy he is or is not, he could have himself sworn in and clean out the bank account. I'm not saying that he will act in this manner, but it wouldn't be the first time that an administrator made off with the estate's assets. Even if he is found if he did this, if he has spent the money, it's gone and you are likely not going to be able to recover it from him, so get assistance from an attorney as soon as possible.
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Both of the other attorneys have given great answers and you can see from them that it will depend on other factors. You should consult an atty in the Pottstown area: Go to AVVO.com, find a lawyer and put in the specialty area and your geographic location and attorneys should pop up. You can call for fees.
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