NYC Probate Court
Probate of an estate is usually handled by a court located in the same county and state where the deceased was domiciled at the time of his or her death. Every state has some court that has the jurisdiction to handle probate matters, but not every state calls this court the same thing. For example, in NYC, the probate court is known as the Surrogate’s Court, while in California the Probate Division of the Superior Court has the responsibility to deal with probate matters.
The domicile of a decedent is important in estate administration. Domicile is the place where a person maintains his primary home. A person can have many residences but only one domicile. It is where a person typically files local taxes, votes and has a driver's license. A person's state or country of domicile determines which laws and rules control his estate and certain tax matters. It is important to know a person's domicile since the laws of various jurisdictions may differ as to such items as intestate distribution and taxation. Some states, such as New York, have an estate tax while others do not.
The Probate Court NYC or Surrogate's Court has the jurisdiction to handle matters relating to a decedent's estate. Proceedings that are handled in the probate court NYC include probate proceedings where the person has a last will and Administration proceedings where a person dies intestate or without a last will. Other proceedings handled in the probate court NYC include accounting proceedings where the Executor or Administrator provides a record of all financial transactions involved in a decedent's estate. These proceedings can be amicable or can involve disputes and litigation.
There are many other types of proceedings that occur in the probate court relating to a decedent's estate settlement. For example, if the language in a Last Will or Trust is unclear or ambiguous, there may be the need for a construction proceeding to determine the meaning of the document. Also, if an estate executor or administrator believes that a third party is withholding assets that rightfully belong to the estate, the fiduciary can file a discovery or turnover proceeding to force the third party to deliver the assets to the estate. The jurisdiction of the Surrogate's Court such as the Manhattan Surrogate's Court can be quite broad. The Court is authorized to deal with many different matters that relate to a decedent. For example, it may be necessary to determine whether a lifetime gift by a decedent was valid or the result of undue influence or fraud. Also, the Court may need to determine the extent of the estate's interest in a business such as a partnership or small business corporation. It is possible that the decedent's estate can be involved in a dispute concerning a partnership agreement or shareholder agreement. In some cases questions may arise as to the validity or interpretation of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement or a divorce settlement.
I have many years of experience working in the Probate Court NYC or Surrogate's Court and helping my clients with all types of proceedings. I work closely with my clients and provide personal representation.
Do you need a lawyer or have any questions? Contact me by phone at (212) 355-2575 or by e-mail