If you are a party or have another interest in a Surrogate’s Court proceeding in Westchester County, you will want to keep track of every aspect of your case to know for sure what is going on. While an executor should be keeping everyone in the loop as to what’s going on in a probate matter, this may not always be the case, meaning that it may be necessary to take additional steps to find out what is going on in your probate matter. The best idea when you feel like you are having difficulties finding out what is going on in a probate matter you are involved in is to go to a Westchester estate attorney.
One way to immediately find out what the status of your case is would be to call the executor or administrator and simply ask. However, this would mean that you would need to have a good relationship with that person and be secure in the knowledge that they are telling you the truth. Otherwise, there are other steps that you can take.
Most documents in Surrogate’s Court matters, with the exception of those relating to adoptions, for Westchester County and the rest of New York, are a matter of public record. This means that getting an idea of what is going on in your case will not involve having to get special court intervention or making a FOIL request. However, unlike regular civil or criminal cases in New York, where there is a very specific electronic records system set up, the same can not be said for Surrogate’s Court, where there is a different system set up depending on which county you are in.
This does not mean that you would be unable to get information though. Court records would be located in the Westchester County Clerk’s office, where they can be reviewed or copied. The best way to get access to those records is to look at them in person or to have your Westchester County estate attorney do it for you.
One of the reasons it is wise to go through a Westchester estate attorney in your probate matter is because you may not be able to have the most accurate information this way. Your attorney will have a better knowledge of the court and who the specific person is to call to find out immediately what the status of your case is. Courts do not like to be bothered often with requests for status updates and your lawyer would be the one who is most likely to know if something is taking too long or seems to not be going right and would warrant a call to the court. While there is nothing barring you from contacting the surrogate’s court yourself to get a status update, it will not end up giving you much assistance in the end. It is best to always hire a Westchester County estate attorney to keep track of your case for you. Call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (914) 293-2043.