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Surrogate Court

Definition - What does Surrogate Court mean?

A surrogate court is a court that is used in some states to handle affairs such as estates, the probate of wills and adoptions.

Wills and the process of transferring property in an estate often require a high degree of legal protocol. The surrogate court oversees such processes to make sure that all relevant laws are being followed.

Justipedia explains Surrogate Court

When property is passed through a will, it must go to the assigned beneficiaries and it can often be subject to certain taxes. If disputes arise regarding who may be entitled to the property, or which taxes may apply, the surrogate court can settle such matters. Surrogate courts also make sure that the will is legitimate. If the will is not deemed legitimate by the surrogate court, it will not contain any legal power.

Surrogate courts are synonymous with probate courts.

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