Union County, NJ – Union County Surrogate James S. LaCorte issued the following statement in response to actions reportedly taken by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy resulting in delays in the delivery of mail.
“If accurate, the reports of an intentional slowdown in mail delivery go beyond allegations of election interference to impact the emotional and financial well-being of our residents, who are already coping with the economic and social fallout of the COVID-19 crisis as they work through the process of estate settlement,” said Surrogate LaCorte. “Any delay in the normal course of procedure only adds to the stress and heartbreak of losing a loved one.”
“Postmaster DeJoy has announced his intention to suspend his actions, but the damage has already been done. The Postal Service must be returned to normal operations as quickly as possible, and those responsible for this callous neglect of a vital, constitutionally mandated service must be called to account for their actions,” added LaCorte.
The Surrogate’s Office has been experiencing delays of up to three weeks in mail delivery since June, even as the need for its services has increased significantly during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In July, the office conducted 64 administrations and 155 probates, an overall increase of almost 40% compared to July 2019.
The Office of the Union County Surrogate is responsible for probating wills and appointing administrators and trustees of decedents’ estates. In order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the office has been conducting transactions through the U.S. Postal Service as well as by phone, email, and fax. The office also maintains a drop box for contactless delivery of paperwork.
Questions and concerns may also be faxed to the Surrogate’s Office at 908-351-9212.
For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for using the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and a list of locations for walk-up tests, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus-update.
For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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