Proceeding by Fiduciary to Discover Property Withheld: SCPA 2103

The New York Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) is a set of rules and guidelines that govern the administration of estates and trusts in the state of New York. One of the key sections of this act is SCPA 2103, which outlines the discovery and turnover proceedings. This article offers a comprehensive overview of SCPA 2103 proceedings, their purpose, and the steps involved in the process.

Purpose of SCPA 2103 Proceedings

The primary purpose of SCPA 2103 proceedings is to identify, locate, and recover assets that belong to an estate or trust. When an individual passes away or a trust is established, it is crucial that all property and assets are accounted for and transferred to the appropriate beneficiaries or trustees. SCPA 2103 proceedings help to ensure that this happens efficiently and fairly.

Initiating SCPA 2103 Proceedings

SCPA 2103 proceedings can be initiated by an executor, administrator, trustee, or other fiduciary responsible for managing the estate or trust. These proceedings are typically commenced when the fiduciary has reason to believe that someone may be withholding or concealing assets that belong to the estate or trust. The fiduciary can petition the Surrogate’s Court to issue a citation or order, which compels the person believed to be in possession of the assets to appear in court and provide information about the property in question.

Responding to a Citation or Order

Upon receiving a citation or order, the person cited (the respondent) must appear in court on the designated date and provide the requested information. If the respondent fails to appear or refuses to cooperate, the court may issue a contempt order, which can result in fines or even imprisonment. It is crucial for the respondent to seek legal counsel in order to navigate this process effectively and protect their rights.

Discovery and Turnover

During the SCPA 2103 proceeding, the court will examine the information provided by the respondent and determine whether the property in question belongs to the estate or trust. The court may order the respondent to turn over the assets or may take other actions to ensure that the property is properly accounted for and distributed.

If the respondent disagrees with the court’s determination, they can present evidence to support their claim. However, if the court ultimately finds that the property does belong to the estate or trust, the respondent must comply with the court’s order to turn over the assets or face further legal consequences.


SCPA 2103 proceedings play a vital role in the administration of estates and trusts in New York. They ensure that assets are accurately identified, located, and transferred to the appropriate parties. Understanding the purpose and process of these proceedings can help both fiduciaries and respondents protect their rights and fulfill their responsibilities under the law.

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