New York Court Help

DIY Forms
Surrogate's Court

Free and easy guided step-by-step programs for people with Surrogate's Court cases in New York State courts:
These computer programs ask you questions. The program then uses your answers to prepare a form for your case or to make an information sheet to help you at court.

Small Estate Affidavit Program
The small estate administration is a simplified court procedure available if the person who died did not have many assets. You can ask the Surrogate’s Court to let you divide and give away their property to people who have a legal right to inherit.  To do this you need to file a form called an “Affidavit of Voluntary Administration,” also known as the “small estate affidavit.”

Article 17-A Guardianship Petition Program
The Article 17A Guardianship Petition is used if you want to appoint a guardian for a mentally retarded or developmentally disabled person.

Safe Deposit Box Petition Program
This free and easy program will ask you questions and make papers to ask the Surrogate's Court to see what is in a safe deposit box and look for a will, a burial plot deed, insurance policies and to make a list of what is inside the box. The Safe Deposit Box Petition program will make a Petition, Proposed Order and Instructions that tell you what to do next.

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What does my computer need to use these programs?

  1. You need Adobe Flash Player to use these programs. Download it for free from
  2. You need Microsoft Word to see the documents properly. If you do not have Microsoft Word, you can download Microsoft Word Viewer for free from

    Note: Microsoft WordPad is not the same as Microsoft Word. WordPad will cause problems with your documents.

  3. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.


NYS DIY Forms are only for court users who don't have a lawyer and, legal services and pro bono attorneys and staff helping clients who cannot afford lawyers. Commercial use is prohibited and no one may charge for using these programs. When you begin the program, you will be asked to accept these terms of use.

Last updated on April 24, 2014

 New York State Unified Court System
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