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The Nuts & Bolts of Kinship Hearings in Surrogates Court

The Nuts & Bolts of Kinship Hearings in Surrogates Court


What happens when someone dies intestate, their next of kin are unknown or unqualified to be estate Administrator, and the decedent left assets to collect and account for? This program will focus on the key skills required in a Public Administrator (PA) kinship proceeding where a claimant’s status as a decedent’s distributee must be proven in Surrogate’s Court. You will learn about the roles played by the interested parties in these proceedings, including: 

• Public Administrator. The PA’s counsel will present an overview of the PA’s role, from its preliminary investigation and petitioning for Letters of Administration through the estate Accounting Proceeding.

• NYS Attorney General’s Office. An assistant Attorney General will discuss why the AG’s Office is a statutory party in kinship proceedings and its responsibilities in representing the State of New York.

• Distributee’s counsel. The distributee’s counsel will explain the steps taken to prove the next of kin’s entitlement to an intestate share of an estate; from the filing of pleadings through the presentation of proof and applicable rules of evidence in a kinship hearing.  

• Guardian ad Litem. Appointed by the Surrogate to represent the interests of the decedent’s “unknown distributees,” the speakers will discuss the important role the GAL plays in the court’s determination of kinship. 

• Court Attorney-Referee. A court attorney-referee is often assigned by the Surrogate to preside over a kinship hearing. You’ll learn about the court’s procedures in these kinship cases as well as the appointment and expectations of a Guardian ad Litem. 


Glenn I. Levin, Esq., Law Office of Glenn I. Levin, Esq. (Moderator)

Staci A. Graber, Esq., Schram Graber & Opell, P.C., NY County Public Administrator’s counsel

Lisa Barbieri, Esq., Assistant NYS Attorney General, Charities Bureau

Jay C. Laubscher, Esq., Court Attorney-Referee, Manhattan Surrogate’s Court

Section Member Price: $50.00 Join (or renew) for special member pricing
Non-Member Price: $175.00
Published Date:
  • October 14, 2020
  • Online On-Demand
Product Code:
  • VJL21
Skills Credit(s):
  • 1.5
Total Credit(s):
  • 1.5