In New Jersey, this judicial officer is the County Surrogate who is elected by the voters of each county every five years. The Surrogate's primary functions relate to the determination of validity of wills, appointments of administrators of estates, and guardians of minors and incapacitated persons.
The Surrogate can provide assistance on all matters affecting estates, guardianships and similar probate matters, New Jersey laws, rules of the court and case law involved in this area. The Surrogate's office is open to all and available to assist every member of the public in this regard.
The Surrogate and his staff are available to review your will at any time to determine whether or not it is validly executed.
In the absence of a will decedent estates fall into the category of "intestate succession" where the laws of New Jersey dictate distribution of assets.
The Surrogate also acts as a Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court in handling adoptions, incompetencies, formal accountings and similar Superior Court matters.
Both executors and administrators have responsibilities, which are further explained in The Duties of Executor/Administrator.
The Atlantic County Surrogate can provide assistance on all matters affecting estates, guardianships, and other probate matters. The Surrogate is responsible for determining the validity of wills, appoints administrators for the estates and guardians for minors and incapacitated persons, as well as appointing trustees where applicable.
The Surrogate also acts as Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court, Chancery Division - Probate Part. In that capacity the Surrogate is responsible for estate accountings, incompetencies, insolvencies, actions to remove fiduciaries and similar actions brought in the probate part. The Surrogate also acts as the Clerk in the filing and processing of adoption actions, for the New Jersey Superior Court/Family Part.
For further information call (609) 343-2341 or (609) 645-5800.