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 Surrogate’s Court 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 Surrogate’s Court 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. A Manhattan Estate lawyer is familiar with the procedures when an estate accounting is filed. The accounting contains many different schedules that provides information as to the estate transactions. For example, Schedule A may list all of the principal assets that the estate fiduciary collected during estate administration. Another Schedule may detail all of the items that were paid by the estate as administration expenses such as expenses to manage or maintain any real estate and estate and income taxes that were due. There are also Schedules showing the amount of estate assets remaining to be paid to beneficiaries and describing the calculation of fiduciary commissions. Executors and Administrators are entitled to receive a fee or a commission in connection with their actions as a fiduciary for the estate. Surrogate's Court Procedure Act Section 2307 sets forth the amount of statutory commission that are allowable. If there is found to be a breach of fiduciary duty, the Court can deny the payment of commissions to an Executor or Administrator.
Many of the procedures and papers to be filed in the Surrogate’s Court are unique to that Court. Proceedings relating to a decedent’s estate tend to be complex because they involve the validation of documents such as Wills or Trusts and the involvement of the decedent’s family members and friends. Various issues concerning kinship, document interpretation, business matters and family disputes can disrupt the settlement of a decedent’s estate.
There are Surrogate's Courts throughout New York in each of the various counties. The New York or Manhattan Surrogate's Court is located in the downtown area near City Hall. The Brooklyn or Kings County Surrogate's Court is located in the same building as the County Supreme Court. The procedure in these Courts is found in the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act. There are many sections to these laws and rules dealing with probate proceedings, intestate administration, accounting proceedings and other matters.
The judges in these Courts deal especially with issues that affect a decedent's estate and estate settlement. This is the Court where a Will Contest or Kinship Hearing is held. In many instances the judges encourage the various parties to find an amicable solution to matters that involve estate litigation. There are also some attempts to have disputing parties engage in mediation that may be less costly and time consuming than a Court battle.
I have many years of experience working in the Surrogate's Court or what may be seen as the Probate Court in NYC 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 fill out my contact form.