Middletown, NJ- Monmouth County Surrogate Rosemarie Peters addressed a group of about 50 residents of Shadow Lake Village on Sunday afternoon to introduce the services of her office and to remind residents of importance of preparing proper documents to ensure that they are properly cared for in the event of disability or illness and the proper distribution of the property upon their passing.
The Surrogate’s Office is actually a Court as well as a branch of the Superior Court, Chancery Division. The Surrogate serves as the Deputy Clerk of the Chancery Division, Probate Part, and as the Judge of the Surrogate Court.
According to the Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey,
The duties of the Surrogate are mostly administrative. These duties provide for the administration of an estate, whether it be the process of admitting a will to probate or grant letters of administration to an appropriate person to carry on the duties of the decedent. Letters of Guardianship are also granted to persons for minor children who are awarded funds through a court as well as guardians for mentally incapacitated persons.
As Clerk of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Probate Part, the Surrogate’s Court reviews and files adoptions, declaration of death actions, appointment of guardian for an incompetent person, trusteeships, conservatorships and accountings.
The Court collects certain filing fees, set by New Jersey Statute, which are turned over to the Board of Chosen Freeholders on a monthly basis. The Surrogate and staff are paid salaries set by the Board of Freeholders and receive no part of the fees collected.
In her remarks to the residents of Shadow Lake Village, Peters reviewed the different types of Powers of Attorney that are used to appoint an agent to conduct a citizen’s financial affairs when they are incapacitated and Advanced Directives; Proxy Directives which lets a person name a Health Care Representative, Instruction Directive which is a Living Will and a Combined Directive which serves as both a Proxy and Instructive Directive.
During the segment of her presentation on Wills, Peters described the types of property that are not subject to a Will, emphasized the importance of Wills being properly witnessed and notarized, and urged caution in using cheap documents found online. She described unfortunate incidents in the distribution of estates when a decedent passed intestate…without a Will and of improperly executed wills that can not be probated.
In the last five years, Peters has given over 200 such presentations to groups throughout Monmouth County. “I’m a woman on a mission,” Peters said. “The time to do these things is now.”
Peters is available to speak to any group in Monmouth County. She has prepared presentations on the Many costs of not having a will…or having one that can not be probated, probate problems of the rich and famous, guardianships and conservatorships, and powers of attorney and living wills. To schedule a presentation by Peters call 732-431-7330 ext. 7331 or email [email protected] .