What is the Surrogate’s Court, and how does it work?

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What is the Surrogate’s Court, and how does it work? | Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC is a specialist in a variety of practice areas. Many of these take place in Surrogate’s Court. Surrogate’s Court, a court that handles assets and wills for deceased people, is a specialized court within the court system. What does this all mean for you?

What does Surrogate’s Court serve?

Surrogate’s Court in New York handles estates and wills as well as properties of the deceased. Surrogate’s Court can combine its authority with Family Probate Court Brooklyn NY in proceedings related to adoptions. Additionally, guardianship matters for both minors and the developmentally/intellectually disabled are handled in Surrogate’s Court.


Guardianship refers to the process by which the Court decides who is the rightful guardian for an individual. These people can be minors, elderly, or developmentally or intellectually handicapped. Guardianship cases are important for providing the best care for an elderly or disabled relative. Guardianship cases can be used to keep children closer to family members than in foster care.


The Surrogate’s Court will distribute the estate’s assets through intestacy if a person dies without a last will. Intestacy occurs when a person dies without leaving a Will. The Surrogate’s Court must decide how the estate will be distributed, sometimes to your dismay. Voluntary administration refers to estate distribution in which the deceased’s assets do not exceed $30,000.


The Surrogate’s Court handles probate administration. Probate administration also includes the contesting of wills and other inheritance-based cases. The Surrogate’s Court judges work to make sure that the wishes and interests of the deceased are respected. If necessary, they can also help the heirs reach a compromise.


Adoption proceedings involve two or more people who can establish parent-child legal relationships. The Surrogate’s Court processes adoption claims.


New York’s Surrogate’s Court also handles miscellaneous proceedings. Although it covers many topics, the majority of these cases involve trust and estate litigation. This could include compelled a fiduciary account or removal of a Fiduciary. The Surrogate’s Court also handles miscellaneous matters such as the construction of Wills or Trusts and property transfer to an estate.

Our firm has been helping people just like you for over 40 years with their estate planning and long-term care needs. We offer the resources and knowledge to help you and your loved ones. Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC is not authorized to provide articles for tax, legal or accounting advice. This information has been prepared solely for informational purposes and is not meant to be used for tax, legal, or accounting advice. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with Armstrong & Lamberti PLLC estate planning attorneys, call 718.477.7700. We are proud to serve Brooklyn, Staten Island and all other boroughs in New York City. 



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