Stephen Bilkis
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Westchester County Surrogate's Court

The Westchester County Surrogate's Court is located at 111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in White Plains, New York. As with other surrogate courts located throughout the State of New York, in which each county has one, the Surrogate Court is responsible for overseeing a variety of different types of legal administration and dispute related issues. For all of these, you might not be able to sort out all the requirements on your own. That’s where a surrogate court lawyer comes into play.

The Staten Island Surrogate Court plays an important role in the determination of the validity of the state related documents and assisting with the administration of those estates that do not have an appropriate will and testament. The Probate Court in Staten Island has the jurisdiction to handle associated matters linked to a decedent’s last will and testament and estate. One such proceeding that is handled inside the Staten Island Surrogate Court has to do with when a person passes away without a last will, which is also known as passing away intestate. Other kinds of proceedings handled in the Staten Island Surrogate Court include those related to accounting proceedings. The administrator or executor in this situation would provide a record of all related financial transactions in a decedent’s estate. These proceedings can be amicable in the executor's attempt to discharge themselves from personal liability, but they can also be related to disputes.

If you think that an executor, for example, has charged too much for his or her work on the estate, you need to review the statutes related to the percentages allowed. The total size of the probated estate matters for the purpose of the percentages charged. Your lawyer can review this information with you through a proceeding to ask for an accounting in the case.

Miscellaneous proceedings may also be managed through the Staten Island Surrogate Court. Miscellaneous proceedings include compelling a fiduciary to account, removal of a fiduciary, surcharging a fiduciary for what has been alleged for inappropriate acts, determining a spouse's election rights, construction questions related to wills and trusts, construction disputes related to wills and trusts, and the setting of legal fees. Although most often not thought of in conjunction with the Staten Island Surrogate Court, this court can also handle a variety of different adoption issues such as step-parent adoptions, family adoptions, foreign adoptions, adult adoptions, and infant adoptions. All of these situations can be complex and confusing for a party who has to appear before or prepare documentation for the Staten Island Surrogate Court. If this applies to your situation, then you need to identify a Staten Island Surrogate Court attorney as soon as possible. A Staten Island Surrogate Court attorney can also assist with the small estate administration referred to as voluntary administration. This is a simplified and easier process for settling an estate when the assets in question are valued at less than $30,000. Probate is the most common reason why you might appear in front of the Staten Island Surrogate Court because the purpose of the court in this position is to verify the validity of the last will and testament belonging to the decedent and to appoint the executor who will maintain responsibility for distributing the assets after handling other issues. It is not easy to get your questions answered as it relates to the surrogate court if you are not familiar with typical court operations. You may need the support of a Staten Island Surrogate Court lawyer to advise you and to help you prepare the necessary paperwork.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
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