Howick Law Kinship Law

Howick Law Kinship Law.

When an individual dies and does not have a valid will, the court has to determine who has a right to inherit from the deceased individual’s (decedent’s) estate according to New York state’s laws of intestacy (intestacy = there is no will). This is often accomplished through a kinship hearing.

In New York, a kinship hearing happens in Surrogate’s Court. During the trial-like hearing, documentary evidence and witness testimony need to be provided to prove a claimant’s right to inherit—the regular rules of evidence apply. These are often very technically complicated proceedings due to the nature of the evidence that needs to be presented. One has to prove his or her own family tree by locating witnesses who knew the decedent and supplying authenticatable documents verifying births and deaths for all branches of the family tree. Often, these documents are only physically available in whatever countries a person’s family is from so extensive genealogical work must be done in these areas to prove a claimant’s right to inherit. Howick Law has worked with genealogists in Asia, Australia, South America, Europe and the United States to prove some of the most difficult kinship cases possible.

The burden of proof is placed upon the "alleged heirs" to prove their kinship. Howick Law offers experienced and professional representation to family members seeking to enforce their inheritance rights in kinship proceedings.

Howick Law has extensive experience in proving kinship and can assist you in navigating the complexities of the court procedures by making sure witnesses are in found and testify about the decedent’s life and that the documentary trail proving one’s right to inherit is complete and acceptable to the court under the laws of evidence.

To learn more about Howick Law's services in proving inheritances in kinship proceedings please call (718) 776-3685 or email There is never a charge for the initial consultation.