Updates On Probate Court Closures And Procedures Due To Coronavirus

coronavirus effects probate court

Updated 05/14/2020

Most courts are operating with minimal disruption and are accepting new probate petitions.  Generally speaking courts have postponed any "in-person" hearings and for states where hearings are required they are being moved to a video or telephone hearing.  Many states do not require a hearing, and probate is not disrupted.

Below are noteworthy states and their coronavirus related announcements and procedures. 

We will update this page frequently and feel free to message us with any questions. 

California 

The Court has reduced operations and is only providing necessary and essential services.  The Court intends to reduce the number of jurors, parties, and attorneys in the Court for the time period of March 17 through April 15, 2020, as advised by public health officials.

Court is still accepting petitions and scheduling hearings.  Anyone needing immediate action needs to file an "ex parte" petition to get immediate temporary power.  We can help you do this now.

Any hearings scheduled between 3/17 and 4/15 will be rescheduled.

New York

**Update as of 5/14/2020*** Many "upstate" (non New York City) courthouses will resume in-person courthouse operations starting Monday May 18.

Courts have now implemented video and telephone hearings, most courts are scheduling hearings without delay.

Also courts are consolidating locations to lessen the impact on cleaning and staff.  Make sure you contact your court to see what if any location changes are made.  This is unlikely to impact probate fillings as it is rare to appear in person.

Courts are open (in person) to handle urgent and essential matters.  No person should visit court without first contacting the court. 

New York Probate regularly handles petitions with all waivers and consents filed without a hearing, so no disruption for new petitions.  Any previously scheduled hearings will need to contact the court clerk to learn what the video or telephone hearing procedure will be.  Note you will need to notify all parties of the new hearing procedure.

Sign up for NY Surrogates Court (probate court) updates, closings and venue changes from the NY Courts official website.

 

Florida

Court functionality is being limited to virtual hearings (video or  telephone conference) only.  This will have little impact on probate process as all can be done via mail and telephone hearings.

Washington (State)

Washington has issued a state of emergency and is limiting the movement and gathering of people.  Probate court is accepting petitions and will move to telephone or video hearings that require attendance.