Expertise.com

2024

Last updated:

Best Probate Lawyers in Brooklyn

Our Recommended Top 20

We did the research for you!

  • Licensing
  • User Reviews
  • Mystery Shopping Calls

Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored Brooklyn Probate Lawyers on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

568Reviewed

348Curated

20Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.

Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

Website
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd Ste 102, Garden City, NY 11530
  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

Founded in 1985, Russo Law Group PC offers legal representation to clients in the Brooklyn area, with offices in Manhattan and Garden City. The firm assists clients through the probate or administration proceedings process after the death of a loved one. The detailed probate attorneys in Brooklyn can handle all elements of the process, including inventorying and valuing assets, settling outstanding debts, distributing property, and closing probate. Attorney Vincent Russo is one of the founding members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Vincent Russo - Managing Shareholder45 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
2365 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Why choose this provider?

Founded in 2013, Wellerstein Law Group, P.C has offices in Nassau, Brooklyn, Queens, Suffolk, and Manhattan cities. The firm's attorneys focus on helping heirs take care of the administration or probate of their loved one's estate by filing documents required by the probate court, determining the taxes owed by the estate, and managing the estate's checkbook. Wellerstein Law Group, P.C also handles cases involving elder law, special needs planning, and wills and trusts. Elisha Wellerstein is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Elisha Wellerstein - Principal11 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (51)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
26 Court St Ste 2511, Brooklyn, NY 11242
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Patel, Soltis & Cardenas is a boutique firm serving residents of Brooklyn. Its probate practice focuses on disputes over wills and estate administration. The firm handles cases of fraudulent wills, lack of execution ability, intestacy, fiduciary malfeasance, and trust reformation. It pursues litigation or negotiation as necessary to obtain maximum value for the client. Depending on circumstances, the firm may handle cases on a contingency basis. Its other practice areas include real estate and bankruptcy law.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Jason Bost - Managing Partner6 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (10)
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
85 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

Mishiyeva Law, PLLC, is a private law firm that handles probate matters for clients in and around Brooklyn. It represents beneficiaries, administrators, executors, and trustees in probate proceedings, will contests, actions for breach of fiduciary duties, and petitions for partition of real properties. Additionally, the firm assists clients with drafting estate planning documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to avoid future conflicts. Lawyer Kamilla Mishiyeva has been featured in media outlets such as People Magazine and Queens Bar Bulletin for her expertise.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Yelp
4.7 / 5 (12)
FindLaw
5.0 / 5 (11)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (10)

(+2 additional sources)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
269 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11209
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Why choose this provider?

Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group, P.C., serves Brooklyn and nearby communities. It represents interested parties in probate and trust administration. It helps probate wills, send a legal notice to heirs, identify and secure estate assets, resolve income tax issues, and transfer assets in the decedent’s name to the appropriate beneficiaries. It also works with clients to establish an estate plan that effectuates their goals to avoid future disputes. The firm also practices elder law and Medicaid planning.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Renata Landskind - Partner24 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (50)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (8)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
44 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Michael Camporeale P.C. is a multi-practice law firm that serves individuals and families from Brooklyn and the surrounding areas. It provides probate and estate administration services, which include the management and distribution of estate assets. Other practice areas of the firm include wills and trusts litigation, estate planning, and elder law. Principal attorney Michael Camporeale has been practicing law for more than two decades. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Michael Camporeale - Principal21 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Avvo
4.8 / 5 (18)
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (17)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
1222 East 12th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11230
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

Jack Weissman, Esq. Attorney at Law helps protects the assets of seniors in the Brooklyn area. It offers legal solutions for probate matters, including asset protection trusts, wills, long-term care insurance, durable powers of attorney, and special needs planning. The firm also has Medicaid planning and application services, helping utilize gift note planning, pooled income trusts, and spousal refusal. Jack is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey and is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Elder Law Section.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (52)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
4436 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11229
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

The Stein Law Firm serves individuals throughout Brooklyn. It helps its clients secure their wealth for their families and direct how they want their assets to be settled when they pass away through the preparation of documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Its other practice areas include real estate, construction financing, and straight refinancing. Irene Stein, the primary attorney of the firm, teaches lawyers and real estate professionals on issues that may arise within the contract of sale and closing of titles.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Irene Stein - Principal24 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Avvo
4.9 / 5 (143)
Google
5.0 / 5 (112)
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (26)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
140 E 45th Street Suite 44B, 44th Floor, New York, NY 10017
  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

McGarry & Simon has been serving the litigation and estate planning needs of the community for over 40 years. It represents Brooklyn clients in probate proceedings held at New York Surrogate’s Court. Its legal team prepares strategies for questioning trust fiduciary matters and contesting wills. The law firm also helps families avoid probate court by preparing advanced planning documents. William Simon is a member of the New York City Bar Association's Trusts and Estates Panel - Legal Referral Service.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
6911 18th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11204
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

The Law Offices of Polizzotto & Polizzotto, LLC, is a multi-practice firm serving the residents of Brooklyn and its surrounding areas for more than 40 years. It helps clients with probate concerns by providing legal assistance and representation in preparing and administering life estates, guardianships, and revocable living trusts. Other practice areas that the firm works in include real estate, civil litigation, immigration, and elder law. It holds consultations in-person, via phones, or through video conferencing.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Alfred Polizzotto - Partner34 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (54)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (14)
Avvo
4.7 / 5 (14)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
1377 East 4th Street Floor 3,, Brooklyn, NY 11230
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

Kornfield Law Firm represents clients in the Brooklyn metro with inheritance concerns such as probate. The firm's estate planning attorneys can help clients create an estate plan to avoid probate or guide executors with their duties. The firm can help representatives with tasks that include asset inventory, debt settling, creditor notices, and maintaining estate properties. Other areas the firm assists in are special needs planning and veterans benefits. Kornfield Law Firm has been representing clients for over 37 years.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Jason Kornfeld - Partner15 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
5.0 / 5 (40)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
71-27 Myrtle Ave, Glendale, NY 11385
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Group is a Glendale-based practice that protects clients, their families, and their assets in Brooklyn and the surrounding communities. It helps clients manage risks by executing various estate planning strategies, including probate, trust, and estate administration. It also handles planning for areas that involve long-term care, young families, and people with special needs. One of the lawyers, Andrew L. Jaloza, has been practicing since 1988. He is a member of Lawyers with a Purpose. 

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Andrew Jaloza - Principal36 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (5)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
26 Court Street, Suite 1600, Brooklyn, NY 11242
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

Jacqueline McMickens & Associates PLLC is a law firm that provides services to clients in Brooklyn. It deals with estate planning and trusts development, guardianship and surrogate's court proceedings, and wills drafting and execution. The firm also handles cases related to business contracts, foreclosures, landlord-tenant law, and labor relations. Jacqueline McMickens, the founding attorney, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's in Public Administration. She previously served as the commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Jacqueline Mcmickens - Founder34 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
1301 Coney Island Avenue, Suite 2A, Brooklyn, NY 11230
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Why choose this provider?

The Bohm Law Firm serves clients residing in Brooklyn and the nearby areas. The firm's list of probate law services covers petitioning to issue letters of administration, representing clients in estate proceedings, overseeing estate distributions, advising estate executors, and negotiating with estate creditors. It extends its services to clients with estate litigation cases such as allegations of fiduciary misconduct, trust conduct proceedings, spousal right of election issues, recovery of fraudulent conveyances, and will contest proceedings.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Pinni Bohm - Principal13 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (28)
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)

(+2 additional sources)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
26 Court Street, Suite 1003, Brooklyn, NY 11242
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Why choose this provider?

With its main office situated in Brooklyn, Andrew A. Bokser represents individuals and families throughout the New York City metropolitan area. In his over 30 years of legal experience, he has focused his practice on the areas of family law, criminal defense, and probate. He guides clients in drafting last wills and living wills, as well as assists executors with estate administration. When there is a probate dispute, Bokser also takes charge of the proceedings and represents clients in litigation.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Andrew Bokser - Principal41 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
16 Court Street 28th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11241
  • Probate

Why choose this provider?

Zeltser Law Group is a multi-practice firm that serves clients in Brooklyn and its surrounding communities. Its founder and primary attorney, Naomi Zeltser, offers probate and trust administration services. She serves as an executor, helping find, secure, and manage the deceased's assets. Zeltser also assists in preparing living wills, guardianship, and powers of attorney. Her additional services involve civil litigation, foreclosure defense, and real estate matters. She is committed to protecting her clients' rights and helping them achieve their goals.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Naomi Zeltser - Principal11 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (14)
Google
5.0 / 5 (7)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
4121 18th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11218
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Why choose this provider?

Trusts & Estate helps resolve the probate issues of clients in Brooklyn and the surrounding areas. It follows a probate process involving inventory and valuation, petition, notifying creditors, and property distribution. The law firm also represents individuals in various areas of law, including asset protection, business succession planning, guardianship, charitable planning, and estate administration. It is also available for executor and trustee accounting services. Trust & Estate caters to high net worth individuals, CEOs of corporations, charitable organizations, and multinational businesses.

Attorney Information

Attorney NamesExperience
Marianna Schwartsman - Principal16 yrs

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (12)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
1517 Voorhies Ave, Suite 4, Brooklyn, NY 11235
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Why choose this provider?

The Law Office of Inna Fershteyn provides legal representation to clients in Brooklyn. The firm assists families in navigating the complex probate process and takes care of legal matters concerning the estates of deceased loved ones. Founding attorney Inna Fershteyn prepares and files petitions with the Surrogate’s Court, supports the appointed executor or administrator in dealing with the estate, and represents clients in will contest proceedings. She is also a New York State certified mediator and is fluent in both Russian and Ukrainian.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (224)
Avvo
4.9 / 5 (164)
Facebook
4.9 / 5 (105)

(+3 additional sources)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
365 Bridge St #7Pro, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Why choose this provider?

Miller & Miller Law Group PLLC is a legal firm that serves residents in Brooklyn. It guides clients in the three-phase probate process by appointing the executor, marshaling the assets and paying the liabilities, and distributing the remaining assets according to the written last will and testament. It also deals with elder law, estate litigation and will contests, guardianship, and special needs planning. Partner attorney Ira K. Miller is the Brooklyn Bar Association elder law committee's founding chairman.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
626 Sheepshead Bay Road, Suite 730,, Brooklyn, NY 11224
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Why choose this provider?

Brooklyn-based Korenblit & Vasserman, PLLC Attorneys-at-Law, responds to the counsel needs of families in the metro. The law firm represents clients in various aspects of estates, from planning to administration. The Trusts and Estates Section of its Litigation Department handles trust, contested estate, and probate matters. The section resolves claims involving lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, elective shares, and guardianship. Raquel Vasserman has been in practice since 2008 and is also a member of the New Jersey State Bar.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Facebook
4.9 / 5 (36)
Google
4.8 / 5 (18)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (13)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Disclaimer:  Consumers utilizing Expertise.com are free to communicate and contract with any lawyer they choose. Expertise.com is not involved in the confidential attorney-client relationship. Featured lawyers pay a reasonable advertising cost to market their legal services with Expertise.com and must meet similar selection criteria as other lawyers. All cases are different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

FAQs

  • What is the non-emergency contact number for the local police station in Brooklyn, New York?

    To contact the New York City Police Department for non-emergency concerns, please dial 311.

  • What are the main responsibilities of an estate executor in Brooklyn?

    An executor holds a vital role in managing the deceased's estate post-death. The tasks include identifying and appraising all assets of the departed. Furthermore, they are responsible for clearing any outstanding debts and taxes from the estate. They must inform all individuals listed as beneficiaries in the will. In Brooklyn, failing to do so can lead to legal disputes.

  • Why do people avoid probate in Brooklyn, and what are their options for doing so?

    Probate in Brooklyn can extend over several months; in complex situations, it can even span years. This lengthy duration can escalate legal and accounting expenses. Furthermore, probate cases often publicize sensitive financial and personal data, which many wish to avoid. Seeking expert legal advice to utilize trusts and other estate planning tools can be an efficient strategy. A skilled attorney can help create documents like the durable power of attorney, wills, and trusts to circumvent the intricate probate procedure.

  • What is the initial procedure for starting probate in Brooklyn?

    After the demise of a Brooklyn resident, the probate process commences with preparing a probate petition. This request is presented to the court to recognize the deceased's final will, assign an estate executor, and acknowledge the will. This documentation should contain the original and copied will, a certified death certificate, and information about all distributees. The assistance of an experienced local estate lawyer is typically required for this process.

  • What should distributees in Brooklyn know when disputes over a will in the probate process arise?

    In Brooklyn, when there's a conflict regarding a will in the probate process, each distributee must be notified of their right to contest the will. If they opt to challenge the will, they will receive a citation, allowing them to state their case at the Brooklyn Surrogate's Court. They may also hire their own probate attorney to represent them in court. A will contestation can significantly delay the probate process.

  • What happens when heirs cannot be located during a petition filed with a surrogate in Brooklyn?

    When heirs cannot be located during a petition filed with a surrogate in Brooklyn, the court mandates the petitioner to conduct diligent efforts to find them. If some heirs' whereabouts remain unknown, the surrogate typically appoints a Guardian ad Litem. Acting on behalf of the missing heirs, the Guardian ad Litem assumes the responsibility of safeguarding their interests, ensuring their rights are adequately protected throughout the legal process.