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, P.C., 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.


Dealing exclusively with probate and estate administration cases

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