As New York State remains at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Surrogate’s Courts, which operate in each of New York’s 62 counties and handle the administration of estates, are preparing for the influx of Coronavirus-related estate matters.
Effective Monday, May 18, 2020 new, uncontested estate cases involving individuals who passed away from Coronavirus-related conditions may be filed in Surrogate’s Court. Additionally, New York’s Surrogate’s Courts are committed to handling these critically-important cases as promptly and efficiently as possible.
Thousands of COVID-related deaths have been confirmed statewide−and the actual number of fatalities is likely much higher−with the horrific circumstances of these deaths taking a devastating toll on surviving family members. In anticipation of a surge of COVID-related estate cases across New York, these matters are being designated as essential.
To complement these efforts, the New York State Bar Association, in partnership with the New York State court system and with assistance from other bar groups, is developing a network of volunteer lawyers to provide free legal representation in New York’s Surrogate’s Courts to families who cannot afford a lawyer in these cases. Volunteer lawyers will also be available to assist families with related issues and needs. See our free guide on how to avoid probate during the Covid-19 Crisis. Call attorney Robert Friedman seven days a week at 716.542.5444 if you have any estate questions.