What You Need to Know About Kinship Hearings in New York Surrogate’s Court Practice

Streams live on Monday, March 09, 2020 at 11:30am EDT

$ 59 Family & Matrimonial Law, Litigation, and Wills, Trusts, & Estates In Stock
Get started now

$299 / year - Access to this Course and 1,500+ Lawline courses


Course Information

Time 50 Minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

This course, presented by seasoned practitioner Keith D. Black and professional genealogist and expert witness William P. Diliberto, is designed to provide a basic understanding of the kinship hearing in Surrogate’s Court practice.  It will cover the proceedings which bring rise to the kinship hearing and will include a comprehensive discussion of interested parties, time limitations, SCPA § 2225 presumptions, and evidentiary issues including genealogical research.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with estate administration in New York and the role of the Public Administrator, and Guardian Ad Litem
  2. Review and discuss fiduciary accounting, and objections
  3. Prepare for kinship hearing, including genealogical research, framing the family tree, obtaining original vital records required by the Surrogate’s Court, and examination of party and non-party/expert witnesses.
  4. Examine the completion of the kinship hearing and settlement of administration, including the (i) Report of Court Attorney-Referee, or Guardian Ad Litem with Affirmation of Legal Services, accompanied by contemporaneous time records, (ii) Decision and Order of the Surrogate, (iii) fiduciary application to bring the account current, and (iv) final Decree settling fiduciary account

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Keith D. Black

Black & Scott

Since 2007, Keith D. Black has advised clients on a broad range of Trusts and Estates matters, including estate and trust planning, administration and litigation.

From 2008 through 2019, Mr. Black headed his own law firm and expanded his practice to include guardianships, elder law, planning for persons with special needs, and real estate.  Mr. Black’s practice also encompassed representing high net worth individuals, trusts, estates, family businesses and foundations in sophisticated tax planning and administration.

As a litigator, Mr. Black’s practice developed to include probate contests, accounting and kinship proceedings, discovery and turnover proceedings, trust invalidation proceedings, and guardianship proceedings.

Mr. Black frequently receives appointments by the Surrogate’s Courts as a Guardian ad Litem to represent minors and other persons under a disability in Surrogate’s Court proceedings.  He also receives appointments as a Court Evaluator in Supreme Court matters brought under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law.

Mr. Black’s legal experience began in 2000 when he worked as a law intern in the litigation department of Clifford Chance Rogers and Wells, LLP, in New York City.  Mr. Black also worked in the corporate real estate department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, in New York City, and is a former volunteer with the Nassau / Suffolk Law Services – Pro-Bono Project.  Mr. Black’s career in Trusts & Estates began in 2006 when he served as the law intern to the Honorable John B. Riordan, Nassau County Surrogate. Mr. Black later worked under the supervision of counsel for the office of the Nassau County Public Administrator.

Mr. Black is a frequent speaker on estate and trust planning, administration and litigation.  Aside from his passion for the practice of law, Mr. Black is an active mentor, and creator of the Student Ambassador Program through the Nassau Lawyers’ Association of Long Island, Inc., to which Mr. Black is a former president (2016-2017). Mr. Black has also served on the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Nassau Lawyers’ Association of Long Island, Inc., and Scholarship committee, which provides annual scholarships to law school students.


  • New York State Bar Association
  • Suffolk County Bar Association
  • Nassau County Bar Association
  • Nassau Lawyers’ Association of Long Island, Inc.


  • State of New York – Second Judicial Department

William P. Diliberto

Diliberto Probate Research, LLC

William P. Diliberto has been a professional Forensic Genealogist for more than 24 years and has distinguished himself in the area of Kinship matters. He has qualified and been admitted as an expert witness in the field of Genealogy for numerous Surrogate's Court estate matters. His scholarly background in Education & Research (at the Graduate Level) has helped him to better assist hundreds of Attorneys and Law Firms Worldwide in order to expedite Kinship matters through the Surrogate's Courts of New York State especially. Diliberto has an artistic side also, having been an accomplished conservatory-trained classical musician, conductor & vocalist with a B.A. in Music Education, who produced and managed many successful recording artists and songwriters in New York, Los Angeles & Nashville.  Diliberto was also a successful international treasure hunter and cryptanalyst and claims it led to his current genealogical occupation and helped him to attain a high level of expertise for both archival and Internet-based genealogical research.