The Surrogate’s Court in Brooklyn deals with estates, trusts, guardianships and adoptions of people who reside or have property in Brooklyn, New York.
Kings County Surrogate’s Court
2 Johnson Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Main Phone: 347-404-9700
Phone Number Directory
Subway Directions: 2, 3, 4 or 5 trains to Borough Hall; A, C or F trains to Jay Street/Borough Hall; R train to Court Street.
Hours of Work
Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
(Clerks of the court 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 a Friday.)
The court is closed on all state holidays.
The courtroom number is Room 319.
Judges of the Surrogate Court Brooklyn
Hon. Margarita Lopez Torres. Hon. Lopez Torres has been the Surrogate Court Brooklyn judge since the year 2006. She has a history fo serving the people of New York, first as a teacher, then working for Legal Services, as legal counsel for the City of New York, and as a Civil Court Judge. Judge Lopez Torres is a no-nonsense judge who is very serious about the cases before her.
Hon. Harriet Thompson. Judge Thompson’s term began on January 1, 2019. She has previously served the people of Brooklyn as a Civil Court judge. Judge Thompson maintains that everybody has their approach to being a justice and hers is to look at every case with an open mind and apply the law in a fair way.
The judges have a staff of clerks who help them analyze cases and conduct pre-trial, scheduling, and settlement conferences.
Doreen A. Quinn
Ms. Quinn shines during the Surrogate Court Brooklyn calendar call. She does the scheduling and logistics. She helps the court and attorneys get through the calendar and get things done.
Surrogate Court Brooklyn is located on the second floor of the courthouse building. It’s called the third floor, but it’s the second floor in my opinion.
Surrogate Court Brooklyn Departments
Surrogate Court Brooklyn deals through its various departments with the following matters:
Probate – Surrogate Court Brooklyn handles estate proceedings involving a will. That’s why some people call it “Brooklyn Probate Court.” Most probate proceedings are uncontested – the person who brings in the will (the proponent) submits the will, has their Brooklyn estate lawyer fill out the appropriate paperwork and files the original will in the Brooklyn 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 – Kings County Surrogate Court 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.
Guardianship – Surrogate Court Brooklyn 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 – Surrogate Court Brooklyn also handles adoptions, whether of regular adoptions, step-parent and family adoptions and adoptions from foreign countries, involving both infants and older children.
Record Room – Surrogate Court Brooklyn 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.
You can request information about an estate from the Surrogate Court in Brooklyn by writing them a letter with the correct legal name of the person who died, and include a check for $30 made out to the appropriate County Surrogate’s Court, and either a return stamped envelope or your email address to receive the information.
Accountings – Surrogate Court Brooklyn 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.
Miscellaneous Proceedings – Surrogate Court Brooklyn Miscellaneous department handles Affidavits of Service and Applications to Open Safe Deposit Boxes and Sealed Apartments. The Miscellaneous Department 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 Brooklyn 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 an attorney for Surrogate Court Brooklyn, call Albert Goodwin, Esq., a New York estate, guardianship, wills, trust, and probate lawyer with over a decade of experience. You can call Albert Goodwin, Esq. at (718) 509-9774.