Surrogate Court Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Surrogate Court, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Surrogate Court?

A court where a surrogate/ an officer especially in some states of United States, presides the probates of Wills and estates, and which has jurisdiction over such probates.

History and Meaning of Surrogate Court

The Surrogate Court is a specialized court that oversees the probate of wills and the administration of estates. It is also commonly known as the probate court. The name "surrogate" comes from the Latin word "surrogatus", which means substitute or deputy.

In some states of the United States, the Surrogate Court is presided over by an officer known as the surrogate, while in others it may be presided over by a judge. The Surrogate Court has the jurisdiction and authority to interpret wills, appoint administrators or executors for estates, and distribute assets to beneficiaries.

Examples of Surrogate Court

  1. John's father passed away, and he filed a petition with the Surrogate Court to administer his father's estate and distribute assets to the beneficiaries specified in the will.
  2. The Surrogate Court appointed an administrator to oversee the estate of a deceased individual who had no will or appointed executor.
  3. Mary contested her mother's will and filed a lawsuit in the Surrogate Court to challenge its validity and interpretation.
  4. The Surrogate Court oversaw the probate and distribution of assets for a wealthy individual who passed away without a will.

Legal Terms Similar to Surrogate Court

  1. Probate Court - A court that has the jurisdiction and authority to oversee the probate of wills and administration of estates.
  2. Executor - A person appointed by a testator to carry out the terms of their will.
  3. Administrator - A person appointed by the court to manage the estate of an individual who passed away without a will or appointed executor.
  4. Will - A legal document that outlines a person's wishes for the distribution of their assets after death.
  5. Beneficiary - A person or entity named in a will who will receive assets from the estate of the deceased.