I believe I have a responsibility as Surrogate to keep the people of Union County aware of the necessity for estate planning and have therefore prepared this web site for your information.

It is important for you to know if you leave no Will, the laws of New Jersey will determine who shall receive your property. The law makes no distinction as to youth or age, illness or health, wealth or poverty, or any of the many other special circumstances which often vitally affect the well being of your own family, or the special causes that are most important to you. Only through a legal Will can you provide for those you love.

This web site is also provided to inform you of the services to which you are entitled from the Union County Surrogate’s Office.

Please be assured that my staff and I are here to advise and assist you in any matter pertaining to these services. Our office is located on the Second Floor, Old Annex, Union County Court House, 2 Broad St., Elizabeth, New Jersey. If we can be of any help to you, if you have a question, or if you wish to arrange a date to have the Surrogate speak before your club or organization, contact us at this office or call 908-527-4280

Change in Evening Hours for the Surrogate in Summit

The Summit City Council revised the City’s meeting room use policy after normal business hours during their public meeting and The Surrogate, James S. LaCorte has announced that in an agreement with the City of Summit he will conduct evening hours on the 4th Tuesday of each month at Summit City Hall in the small conference room on the second floor.  The normally scheduled 4th Thursday of the month is no longer available.

The Surrogate would like to remind everyone that the same instructions apply.  Paperwork should be submitted to his office no later than 48 hours prior to the appointment which, would include:  the will, death certificate, and information sheet.  If there is no will the assets of the estate should be listed separately, valued and identified with an account or identification number.

If you have any questions you may call the office at 908-527-4280 between 8:30 and 4:30 Monday – Friday

A Notice Regarding Bank Policy

As some of you may know the Surrogate’s Office is responsible for assisting residents in the orderly process of estates after the death of a Union County Resident.   As Surrogate of Union County, one of my obligations is to alert residents of potential problems with the processing of residents estates.  

Recent events concerning Chase and Wells Fargo Banks compel me to warn residents that their loved ones may confront severe problems when they attempt to manage their deceased loved ones assets at the time of their death.  Chase Bank has displayed in the recent past a refusal to follow New Jersey Law and instead follow their own bank instituted policy which adds expense and delay to the orderly processing of the decedents estates.  Wells Fargo has acted in a similar manner on many occasions.

I am therefore advising Union County Residents that commencing or continuing a banker-customer relationship with Chase and Wells Fargo Banks may cause several unforeseen impediments with the timely processing of your estate after your death or the death of a loved one. 

Please remember this alert when deciding to commence or continue a financial relationship with Chase Bank or Wells Fargo Bank. 

Speaking Engagements

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 8:30 to 4:30 P.M.  We ask that you be here by 4:00 for the last interview.

James S. LaCorte
Phone: 908-527-4280
Address: Second Floor, Old Annex, Union County Court House,
2 Broad St., Elizabeth, New Jersey
Jo Ann Schwab
Deputy Surrogate
E-mail: jschwab@ucnj.org
Lisa Taylor Brophy, Esq.
Executive Clerk To The Surrogate
E-mail: lbrophy@ucnj.org