Kinship Proceedings

Kinship Proceedings in New York

A kinship proceeding in New York involves litigation to determine those individuals who are relatives and potential beneficiaries of a deceased person.

A kinship proceeding may be required for several reasons:

  • A will may not specifically name beneficiaries, but only their relationship to the deceased—For example, the will may bequeath property to “cousins,” so litigation is required to determine who meets that description.
  • The deceased may have died without a will, or the will may have been ruled invalid—In this situation, a kinship proceeding may be necessary to see who qualifies as a beneficiary under New York’s intestacy laws.
  • The closest living relative is a cousin or more distant relative.

If you are a descendent or cousin, perhaps a kinship hearing is appropriate, and you will need to file a claim and the necessary documents to prove your relationship to the descendent including present evidence such as documents, testimony and other at a hearing held by the Surrogate’s Court.

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, we have extensive experience protecting the rights of individuals in kinship proceedings. We bring more than 20 years of experience to people throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County.


Ancillary Proceedings


Probate & Estate Administration (Will)


Inheritance Rights


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Intestacy Estate Proceedings (No Will)

Out-of-State Executor Attorney

If you are a fiduciary (executor, administrator, or trustee), an heir or a beneficiary of a New York estate, we can assist you. In fact, we represent clients nationwide. We can help you If the decedent died in New York or has assets in New York State. If you are chosen to represent the estate or if you are receiving an inheritance from a New York estate, contact our law firm today.

There Are Two Types of New York Estates

  1. The decedent resided in NY at the time of death and their domicile is in New York at the time of death.
  2. There are assets located in NY at the time of death, and an ancillary proceeding is needed even though the decedent may have died elsewhere,

Find out more information about out-of-state probate help.

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