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How Probate Works in Kings County New York

Probate in Kings County New York is handled by the Surrogate’s Court. It handles all probate and estate proceedings of persons who had Kings County as their last place of residence before they died. Kings County is coextensive with the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

The contact details of Kings County Surrogate’s Court in New York are:

Address: 2 Johnson St., Brooklyn NY 11201

Phone: 347-404-9700

Jurisdiction of Kings County Surrogate’s Court

Under the New York Constitution, Article VI § 12, the Kings County Surrogate’s Court has jurisdiction over all actions and proceedings relating to:

  • Decedent who had their last place of residence in Kings County before they died;
    • Affairs of decedents
    • Probate of wills
    • Administration of estates
    • Actions and proceedings arising or pertaining to above
  • Guardianship of property of minors
  • All other actions and proceedings not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Given the provision in the New York Constitution, the Surrogate’s Court usually hears matters on the following:

  • Probate

This involves the petition to have a will admitted as genuine and authentic. It includes the issuance of letters testamentary to the executor in order for the executor to have powers to manage the estate, together with petitions to modify, suspend, or remove the letters testamentary of an executor. It also includes will contests.

  • Administration

This petition is filed when the person dies without a will. This also includes the issuance of letters of administration. Here, the decedent’s estate is distributed to his nearest surviving relatives, as defined in EPTL § 4-1.1.

  • Voluntary Administration

This occurs when the estate of the decedent is not higher than $50,000 with no real property, wrongful death or other lawsuit as asset.

  • Accounting

This petition is filed to request fiduciaries, such as executors, administrators, and trustees, to submit an accounting to their beneficiaries of the estate or trust.

  • Guardianship

Although the Supreme Court usually has jurisdiction over guardianship proceedings, Surrogate’s Court may hear guardianship matters related to the death of the decedent, such as a minor beneficiary who requires a guardian to receive the gift. Guardianship may involve minors or adults, and can include guardianship over the person, property, or both.

  • Adoption

Both the Family Court and Surrogate’s Court have jurisdiction over adoption. The types of adoption proceedings that can be heard by the Surrogate’s Court are agency adoption, private placement adoption, step-parent adoption, and international adoption.

  • Miscellaneous Proceedings

The Surrogate’s Court can hear other proceedings which the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction over, such as compelling a fiduciary to submit an accounting, removing a fiduciary, imposing a surcharge on the fiduciary for misconduct and other improper acts, determining spousal right of election, will and trust construction.

How do you determine if Kings County is the right county for your probate?

If the person died as a Brooklyn resident, the probate petition or petition for administration will be filed with the Kings County Surrogate’s Court in New York.

The person’s place of last residence before death is the place where she last resided, either owned or through a lease. If the person has several houses, the place of residence would be the place where the person filed her taxes, had bank accounts, or had their driver’s licenses issued. If the person was placed in a nursing home, the person’s last place of residence is the residence prior to entering the nursing home.

For example, if the decedent was staying in a nursing home in Manhattan, but prior to entering the nursing home, the decedent lived in Brooklyn, your petition should be filed in Kings County Surrogate’s Court, the court with jurisdiction over Brooklyn, and not New York County Surrogate’s Court, despite the fact that the decedent lived in the nursing home in Manhattan for years prior to death.

Filing fees

The filing fees for petitions for probate, administration, or accounting are calculated based on the gross estate passing by will or intestacy, using the following schedule:

Value of Estate or Subject Matter Fee Rate
Less than $10,000 $45.00
10,000 but under 20,000 $75.00
20,000 but under 50,000 $215.00
50 000 but under 100,000 $280.00
100,000 but under 250,000 $420.00
250,000 but under 500,000 $625.00
500,000 and over $1,250.00

The filing fee to file a petition to commence the following proceedings are provided below:

SCPA Fee Rate
607 To punish respondent for contempt $30.00
711 Suspend, modify, revoke letters or remove a fiduciary other than a custodian or guardian $75.00
711 Suspend, modify, revoke letters or remove a custodian or guardian $30.00
715 Application of fiduciary to resign $30.00
717 Suspend powers-fiduciary in war $30.00
1401 Compel production of will $20.00
1420 Construction of will $75.00
1421 Determination of right of election $75.00
1502 Appointment of trustee $45.00
1508 Release against state $50.00
1703 Appointment of guardian $20.00
2003 Open safe deposit box $20.00
2102 Proceedings against a fiduciary $20.00
2103 Proceedings by fiduciary to discover property $75.00
2107 Advice and directions $75.00
2108 Continue business $45.00
2114 Review corporate trustee compensation $10.00
2205 Petition to compel fiduciary to account $30.00
EPTL 7-4.6 Appointment of successor custodian $20.00

Other court fees:

Court Fees Fee Rate
For filing:
(i) a demand for trial by jury in any proceeding, SCPA 502 $150.00
(ii) objections to the probate of a will SCPA 1410 $150.00
(iii) a note of issue in any proceeding $45.00
(iv) objection or answer in any action or proceeding other than probate $75.00
(v) a will for safekeeping pursuant to section 2507 of this act except that the court in any county may reduce or dispense with such fee $45.00
(vi) a bond, including any additional bond: less than $10,000 $20.00
$10,000 and over $30.00
For furnishing a transcript of a decree $20.00
For a certificate of letters evidencing that the appointment of a fiduciary is still in full force and effect $6.00
(a) For making and certifying or comparing and certifying a copy of a will or any paper on file or recorded in his office: $6.00 pg.
(b) Authenticating the same, additional: $20.00
For searching and certifying to any record for which search is made: $30.00 for under 25 years
$90.00 for over 25 years
(a) For producing papers, documents, books of record on file in his office under a subpoena duces tccum, for use within the county where the office of the court is situated: $30.00
(b) For use in any other county, such fee to be paid for each day or part thereof that the messenger is detailed from the office and to be in addition to mileage fee and the necessary expenses of the messenger. The clerk of the court shall not be required to make any collection or return of the money so paid for expenses: $.30
For recording: $8.00 per pg. or part
(a) any instrument, decree or other paper which is required by law to be recorded- $16.00 minimum
(b) for filing an authenticated copy of a foreign will: $8.00 per page
$64 minimum
(c) for taxing bill of costs: $15.00

Our law firm is not employed by the Kings County Surrogate’s Court in New York. We represent private clients such as yourself. The above data is provided for reference only. Should you need assistance in filing any of the petitions, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.