Westchester County Surrogate’s Court deals with estates, trusts, guardianships and adoptions of people who reside or have property in Westchester County, New York.
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Westchester County Surrogate’s Court
111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
White Plains, NY 10601
Main Phone: 914-824-5656
Directions to Westchester County Surrogate’s Court
Transportation: Metro-North Railroad
The courtroom, clerks and the various departments are of the Westchester County Surrogate’s Court are located on the 19th floor of the Richard J. Doronco Westchester County Courthouse.
Hours of Work
Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Some of the clerks can leave early at the end of the day and can be on a break during lunchtime. Also, trying to file things at the end of the day is not a good idea, especially on Friday.
The court is closed on all state holidays.
Judge of Westchester County Surrogate’s Court
Honorable Brandon R. Sall. Judge Sall has been the Westchester County Surrogate’s Court judge since the year 2015.
Judge Sall has a staff of clerks who help him analyze cases and conduct pre-trial, scheduling and settlement conferences.
Johanna K. O’Brien
Westchester County Surrogate Court deals through its various departments with the following matters:
Probate – this department handles estate proceedings involving a will. That’s why some people mistakenly call it “Westchester Probate Court.” Most probate proceedings are uncontested – the person who brings in the will (the proponent) submits the will, has their New York estate lawyer fill out the appropriate paperwork and files the original will in the Westchester Surrogate’s Court, together with a petition, original death certificate, funeral bill and accompanying affidavits and notices. The court will set a date for the hearing on the probate of the will, and if no one appears, then the court will grant the probate. If someone does appear, then the estate is contested and the examinations of the attesting witnesses and the attorney-draftsman of the will are scheduled, and the cases go on a contested track.
Estate Administration – this department handles estates where the person who died did not have a will. The person who is the closest relative of the deceased is appointed as the administrator of their estate. If the decedent is survived by a spouse, the spouse is usually appointed as the administrator. If no spouse, then children. And so on.
Cashier Department deals with Certificates, Certifications, and Record Searches.
Guardianship – Westchester County Surrogate’s Court handles Guardianships. There are two kinds of guardianships – those involving a mentally disabled (special needs) minor (those guardianships are known as 17-a), and guardianships of older adults who have become mentally incompetent due to some illness (this is known as Mental Health Law Article 81 guardianships)
Adoptions – Westchester County Surrogate’s Court also handles adoptions, whether of regular adoptions, step-parent and family adoptions and adoptions from foreign countries, involving both infants and older children.
Accountings – this department handles accountings filed by executors and administrators of estates and trustees of trusts. Accountings are usually compelled by beneficiaries interested in the trust or an estate, through a Miscellaneous proceeding.
Record Room -Records are available on the computers located in the record room and on the computer. It is not possible to access those records online through the internet unless you have an attorney account.
You can request information about an estate from Westchester County Surrogate’s Court by writing them a letter with the correct legal name of the person who died, and include a check for $30 made out to Westchester County Surrogate’s Court, and either a return stamped envelope or your email address to receive the information.
Westchester County Inventory of Assets Department – deals with an inventory of assets, which is to be filed no later than nine months of the date letters issued to fiduciary.
Westchester County Miscellaneous Proceedings – Westchester County Surrogate’s Court Miscellaneous department handles Affidavits of Service and Applications to Open Safe Deposit Boxes and Sealed Apartments. It also handles other proceedings, such determining kinship in an estate that has distant relatives, advice and direction, compel fiduciary to account, compel the production of a will or a trust, proceedings by a Westchester fiduciary to discover property, proceeding to remove executor, proceeding to remove administrator, proceeding to remove trustee, proceeding by fiduciary of estate to discover property, etc. Fees for those proceedings can be found here.
If you need representation in the Westchester County Surrogate’s Court, call Albert Goodwin, Esq., New York estate, guardianship, wills, trust and probate lawyer.