The Surrogate’s Courts in New York are located in the various counties. There is a Manhattan (New York County) Surrogate’s Court, Queens County Surrogate’s Court, Kings County Surrogate’s Court and so on. The County courts generally accept filings for estate matters that concern decedents that are domiciled in such county when they die. Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (“SCPA”) Section 205 provides, in part, in paragraph 1 that “the proper venue for proceedings relating to such estates is the county of the decedent’s domicile at the time of his death“. Domicile is generally the location where a person has his primary home. See SCPA Section 103(15).
In view of the above provisions, upon the death of a person who has lived for example in Queens County, the proper court to file estate proceedings would be the Queens County Surrogate’s Court. Such proceedings may be a probate proceeding if the decedent left a Last Will or an Administration proceeding if the person died without a Will (“intestate”). Generally, if the case is filed in the wrong county the Court will reject it. Continue reading →