The Surrogate’s Court Video
In order to probate a Will, if you are the Executor, you must bring the following with you to the Union County Surrogate’s Court:
1. The original Will;
2. A certified copy of the death certificate (which you obtain from the municipality in which the testator died);
3. The full names and latest addresses of the closest surviving next of kin;
4. Sufficient funds in cash, check, or money order for probate fees.
Surrogate is a title taken from the Latin word “Subregare.”, which means substitute. The Office of Surrogate had its beginning in our country’s earliest legal history when the church in England had the duty of probating wills. When Bishops were busy and needed assistance in handling probate matters and based on the law which had come from England, they, too, appointed deputies with the name of Surrogate to act for them.
Later, the New Jersey Legislature gave the power to the Governor to appoint one Deputy or Surrogate in each county of the state and the power and the authority of that Surrogate was limited to the county for which he was appointed.
Today, your Surrogate is a Constitutional Officer, governed by the laws of State of New Jersey, whose duties have been expanded beyond the scope of probate.
The duties of the Surrogate’s Court can be divided into several areas; probating and administering estates, establishing trusts and guardianships, and processing adoptions.
The Surrogate’s Office is also responsible for overseeing the procedure in Will and Administration contests, in the declaration of incompetency, in appointment of guardians and in the granting of adoptions in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
The major portion of the Surrogate’s responsibility, however, is in the direct handling of decedents estates. Everyone eventually finds themselves in need of the Surrogate’s services and it is in this area of the law that we wish to instruct you.
If you would like the Surrogate to speak to your group or organization in Union County please call the office at 908-527-4280.
The Surrogate is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 P.M.