About the New York Surrogate’s Court Monitor

New York’s Surrogate’s Courts are courts of custom and countless undocumented practices with no central depository or database memorializing these informal rules.

The Monitor investigates and reports the secret, hidden, and unwritten rules of New York’s difficult to navigate probate court.

Secret rules are the unpublished, idiosyncratic rules of the Surrogate’s Court, the best of which anyone can tell, are unwritten, but certainly are not shared publicly or are accessed easily.

Hidden rules are written, published, and known rules, but are often overlooked.

The Monitor also provides news, analysis, overviews, how-tos, and substantive information about Surrogate’s Court for attorneys, fiduciaries, beneficiaries, court personnel, and the general public.

This blog is a team effort. You are encouraged and welcome to contribute by sending secret and hidden rules discovered, upcoming CLEs and events, and by publishing articles. 

About the Author

Daniel J. Reiter Headshot

I am an estate litigation and adult guardianship attorney in New York City. I author the Adult Guardianship Law Blog and New York Surrogate’s Court Monitor.

I routinely handle will contests, turnover proceedings, contested accounting proceedings, creditors’ claims against estates, kinship proceedings, wrongful death compromise proceedings, and a variety of other matters in Surrogate’s Court. I am also regularly appointed as a Guardian ad Litem.

During law school, I interned in Richmond County Surrogate’s Court, where I played a leading role in drafting a judicial decision regarding a guardianship dispute. I was honored to be invited back in 2019 to speak with college students and law students interning at the court.

I have taught the following Continuing Legal Education courses on Surrogate’s Court and trusts and estates:

My article, Interposing Mistake as an Objection to Probate, is published in the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law and Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter.

I am a member of the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Prior to my career as an attorney, I worked as a political reporter for Politicker.com, providing political coverage from the floors of the 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Following my departure, I was lauded as an “omnipresent” reporter by the Baltimore Sun.

I live in New York City with my fiancé, a health care professional and photographer.