July 11, 2015
Surrogate's Court: Where Should I File My Petition
Any Surrogate's Court within the State of New York has "jurisdiction over the estate of a decedent who was a domociliary of New York at the time of the person's death." A person is deemed to be a domociliary of New York when such person has a "fixed, permanent and principal home in New York to which the person, whenever temporarily located, always intends to return" - in short, the person must have a home in New York and consider New York his/her permanent home.
Despite that every Surrogate's Court in the State of New York has the power/jurisdiction to make a ruling on any Petition filed with it in regard to a deceased person's estate, only the Surrogate's Court located in the county where the deceased person lived has proper venue, and, in order to avoid a long and costly delay, always file any petition relating to a deceased person's estate with the Surrogate's Court located in the deceased person's county of domocile.