A Kinship Proceeding in New York Surrogate's Court is necessary primarily in two circumstances:
First, a Kinship Proceeding is often necessary when it is unclear who is entitled to inherit from a deceased person's estate. In New York, a deceased person is called a "decedent".
Second, a Kinship Proceeding is sometimes required to determine who will serve as administrator of an estate when the decedent died without a will and it is unclear who has the right to serve as administrator above all others. An "administrator" is like an executor of an estate of a person who died without a will. Dying without a will is known as dying "intestate".