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New York Kinship Hearing Lawyer
Under New York law, if a person does not leave a will or the submitted will is declared invalid, during estate administration their estate will be distributed to the decedent’s heirs according to New York’s law of intestate succession. A kinship hearing is a legal proceeding that is necessary when there is a question as to who the decedent’s legal heirs are. During the hearing the court determines who the legal heirs are when there is no will, or when the will does not name all potential heirs. In other words, a kinship hearing is used to determine who is entitled to inherit from the deceased person's estate. Kinship hearing can be complicated and emotional. If there are questions about kinship in an estate matter in which you have an interest, contact an experienced New York kinship hearing lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss the matter.Intestate Succession
Intestate succession in New York refers to the legal process of determining who inherits the property and assets of a person who dies without a valid will. In New York, the rules of intestate succession are set forth in the state's Estates, Powers and Trusts Law. The law provides a specific order of priority for distributing the decedent's assets to their closest living relatives, such as a spouse, children, parents, or siblings. Intestate succession can be a complicated process, and it is important to work with an experienced New York kinship hearing lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that the estate is distributed fairly and according to the law.Initiating a Kinship Hearing
Kinship hearings are typically held in Surrogate's Court, which is a court that handles estate and trust matters. During the hearing, the court will consider evidence to determine who the deceased person's legal heirs are, which can include biological and adopted children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. The court will review a wide range of documents and evidence, including birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, census records, and family trees. The court may also consider testimony from witnesses who can provide information about the deceased person's family history.
In order to initiate a kinship proceeding, a petitioner must file a petition with the Surrogate's Court in the county where the deceased person resided at the time of their death. The petitioner must provide information about the deceased person's family history and potential heirs. The Surrogate's Court will then schedule a hearing to review the evidence and determine the legal heirs of the deceased person.
Once the kinship hearing is complete, the court will issue an order that sets forth its findings and determines the legal heirs of the deceased person. As an experienced kinship hearing attorney in New York will explain, this order is binding on all parties involved and serves as the legal basis for the distribution of the deceased person's assets.
In New York, kinship hearings can be complex and time-consuming, particularly when there is little information available about the deceased person's family history. However, they are an important tool for ensuring that the deceased person's assets are distributed in accordance with the law and that the legal heirs receive the inheritance to which they are entitled.Notable New York Kinship Hearing Cases
- Estate of Biro v. Biro, 708 N.Y.S.2d 672 (N.Y. Sur. Ct. 2000): In this case, the court held a kinship hearing to determine the heirs of a man who died intestate (without a will). The man had been born in Hungary and had immigrated to the United States in the 1930s. The court had to consider evidence from both the United States and Hungary to determine the man's legal heirs. The court ultimately found that the man's sister, who still lived in Hungary, was his only legal heir.
- Estate of Sullivan, 748 N.Y.S.2d 134 (N.Y. Sur. Ct. 2002): In this case, the court held a kinship hearing to determine the heirs of a woman who had died intestate. The woman had been born out of wedlock and had been adopted by her mother's sister, who raised her as her own child. The woman's biological father, who was still alive, claimed that he was entitled to a share of her estate. The court held that because the woman had been legally adopted, her biological father was not entitled to inherit from her estate.
- Estate of Jorgensen, 114 N.Y.S.2d 646 (N.Y. Sur. Ct. 1952): In this case, the court held a kinship hearing to determine the heirs of a man who had died intestate. The man had been born in Denmark and had immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. The court had to consider evidence from both the United States and Denmark to determine the man's legal heirs. The court ultimately found that the man's brother, who still lived in Denmark, was his only legal heir.
If you are involved in a kinship proceeding or need to initiate one, it is important to work with an experienced legal representation who can guide you through the process and help you navigate the complexities of New York law. An experienced kinship hearing attorney serving New York can help you gather the necessary evidence and present your case effectively in court, healing to ensure that your rights are protected so that you receive the inheritance to which you are entitled. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Long Island, Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.