An Overview of Surrogate's Court

In New York State, the Surrogate's Court maintains jurisdiction over all actions and proceedings relating to the affairs of decedents. This includes the probate of wills ( testate) and the administration of estates (intestate), small estates, ancillary proceedings, disputed claims, discovery proceedings, accountings, compromise and settlement of wrongful death actions, guardianships of the person and property of an infant and SCPA Article 17A guardianships.

Except where otherwise provided, the Surrogate Court is governed by the Surrogate Court Procedure Act (SCPA), the Estates, Powers and Trusts Laws (EPTL), the Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) and the Uniform Rules for Surrogate's Court (22N.Y.C.R.R.). If no provision is found therein, the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) and other pertinent laws shall apply. All proceedings are commenced by the filing of a petition. Personal jurisdiction is obtained over a party by service of process upon her/him, by his/her waiver of issuance of service of process, or by the party's appearance.


It is intended for use in conjunction with review of the applicable statute and rules of the Surrogate's Court and the Surrogate's Court Operations Manual.


How To Proceed When A Loved One Dies

Probate - Decedent Left a Will

Administration - Decedent DID NOT leave a Will

Guardianships - Infants,  Adults Who Become Incapacitated

Voluntary Administration / Small Estate Affidavit Program