Office of the Union County Surrogate

Union County Surrogate Statement on Reports of U.S. Postal Service Delays

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 Surrogate office is closed to the general public.

Hours of operation effective immediately will be Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm for phone, fax or email only.

During the COVID-19 closure, our office will continue to process paperwork to probate Wills, appoint Administrators and perform other Surrogate appointments.  You can mail or fax the information sheet, death certificate, copy of Will (if applicable) and asset page to our office and the paperwork will be reviewed and processed by the staff.  If you prefer to email, you should email all documents to Susan Dinardo at sdinardo@ucnj.org and it will be forward to the appropriate clerks for filing during our modified office hours. All paperwork will be mailed or emailed to you and/or your attorney for signatures and returned to our office for filing and preparation of fiduciary documents. 

All Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part matters should be handled in a similar manner.  You may mail new Complaints and Orders to Show Cause to the office for review and filing.  Any emergent matters should be emailed directly to Lisa Brophy at lbrophy@ucnj.org.   She will correspond with counsel or pro se clients about the handling of these matters with the Superior Court Judge.  You may also email Ms. Brophy any new Complaints for filing and they will also be filed during our modified office hours.

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

Note

Legal forms downloaded from any other County Surrogate websites and changed in any way to make them appear as if prepared by the Union County Surrogate Court will not be accepted and may subject the proponent to possible criminal charges.

James S. LaCorte, Surrogate of Union County

James S. LaCorte
Surrogate
908-527-4280
Sharda Badri
Deputy Surrogate
sbadri@ucnj.org

 

 
Suzanne DiOrio
Special Deputy Surrogate
sdiorio@ucnj.org
Susan Dinardo
Senior Probate Clerk
sdinardo@ucnj.org
Lisa Taylor Brophy, Esq.
Attorney
lbrophy@ucnj.org