July 7, 2015

Surrogate's Court: What is a Citation?

If you have been served with a Citation, you are a party to a Surrogate's Court proceeding. The Surrogate's Court is the court which has jurisdiction over a deceased person's financial affirs and is the Court which a person must petition when seeking to either admit a Will to probate, is seeking to be appointed as the Administrator of a deceased persons Estate (when a person dies without leaving a Will) and the Court which has jurisdiction to hear matters relating to Trusts and Guardianships.

Therefore, if you have been served with a Citation, you are being put on notice that you have an interest, typically a pecuniary or "money" interest, in a Surrogate's Court proceeding relating to a dead person's Estate, Trust or other property.

As a rule, you should always appear, or show-up, at the date, time and Court which appear in the Citation, as this is the time and place where you will be advised of your interest in the proceeding, typically your share in a deceased person's Estate or Trust. In my experience, this is the closest that you will ever come to a "reading of the Will" of the dead person, so it's always suggested that you take the time to appear on the Citation return date.

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