Surrogate's Court



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The New York surrogates court 31 Chambers Street New York County 1st Judicial District is located at the historical building at 31 Chambers Street. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
The New York Surrogate's Court is the court that handles all probate and estate proceedings in the state of New York, and the term also refers to the court's historical building. All wills are probated in this court and all estates of people who die without a will are handled in this court. Unclaimed property of the deceased without wills is handled by the Judge of this court.
Each of New York's 62 counties has one surrogate judge, with New York County having two, and Kings County moving from one to two following the 2005 election. Surrogate judges are elected countywide for 10-year terms, except for counties in New York City where surrogate judges are elected for 14-year terms. In some rural counties, surrogate judge duties are handled by the county court judge.
There have been frequent efforts to abolish the surrogate's court and redistribute its powers to the New York Supreme Court (the general trial court) and the Family Court. The most recent efforts stem from the corruption scandal surrounding former Brooklyn Surrogate Michael Feinberg, who was removed from the bench in 2005.
The orphan's Surrogate's Court was an organization established in the Chesapeake Bay colonies during colonization. The major goal of the organization was to protect orphaned children and their right to their deceased family's estate from against claims and abuses by stepparents and others.
Modern-day orphan's courts are court, hearing matters involving wills of decedents' estates which are contested and supervising estates which are probated judicially.