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Surrogate Court

About the Surrogate Court

The Surrogate Court was established by the New Jersey Constitution. It is governed by state statutes as the court in each county responsible for certain statutory and assigned duties and functions related to wills, guardianships of minors and incapacitated people. The office has its origins in English law, where the bishop of the region would appoint a substitute, or “surrogate”, to handle certain affairs. Eventually, this authority evolved from church officials to civil officials.

Functions of the Surrogate

Probate of Wills - Probate is the process whereby a Last Will and Testament is proved to be valid by the Surrogate and documents are issued authorizing the executor to transfer assets in accordance with the wishes of the testator.
 
Administration - When someone dies without executing a Last Will and Testament, the Surrogate’s Court appoints an administrator/administratrix and issues letters authorizing the transfer of assets in the decedent’s name. A surety bond is generally required. Click here for more information.
 
Guardianships - The Surrogate’s Court can issue a judgement to establish a guardianship for a minor. The Surrogate’s Court serves as Clerk of the Superior Court in filing the necessary application for the guardianship of an incapacitated adult.
 
Trusts - When a trust is created in a Last Will and Testament, the Surrogate appoints the named trustee to administer the trust.
 
Adoptions - In the adjudication of adoption matters in Camden County, the Surrogate’s Court serves as the Clerk of Superior Court. In this process our office reviews the applications and schedules their hearings before the Superior Court. The Surrogate’s Court also maintains the files under seal as required.
 
Management/Investment of Minors' Funds - The Surrogate’s Court receives, manages and invests funds for minors as ordered by Superior Court. Currently, there are 972 accounts for minors’ funds, with approximately $27 million invested by the Surrogate’s Court.
 
Records - The Surrogate’s Court maintains records and microfiche of all estates probated in Camden County and all Superior Court proceedings related to the office dating from 1851.
 
Visiting Surrogate Program- The Surrogate’s Court provides the full range of our services to the physically challenged and individuals who are confined to their homes through a “visiting surrogate” who literally brings the office to their homes.
 

Forms, Fees, and Cases

Free Senior Citizen Legal Workshops at the County Store

The Camden County Surrogate and the Freeholder Board’s Division of Senior & Disabled Services hold a series of free legal workshops for senior and disabled residents throughout the month. The sessions will be held at the Camden County Store, located on the second level of the mall at Voorhees Town Center, Somerdale and Burnt Mill Roads, Voorhees.

Those who attend the session will have the opportunity to receive legal advice on a Last Will and Testament, an Advance Directive for Health Care also called a Living Will and a Power of Attorney. Anyone interested in attending one of the sessions must call the County Store at (856) 566-2920 to save their spot.

Participants are required to be Camden County residents aged 60 and over. Disabled citizens must be aged 18 and over and residents of Camden County.  Workshops are limited to 35 participants per session and pre-registration is required.  To register, please call (856) 566-2920.

Those attending this workshop receive, at no cost, a Last Will and Testament, an Advance Directive for Health Care (Living Will) and Power of Attorney. No other topics will be addressed by these workshops.

Contact the Surrogate Court

Camden County Surrogate's Court
Aletha Wright Administration Building
600 Market Street
Camden, New Jersey 08102
(856) 225-7282
caustin@camdencounty.com
Mon - Fri 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Map & Driving Directions

For information or questions regarding New Jersey Inheritance and/or Estate Tax, please contact the Division of Taxation: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation. 

For information on how to proceed before the Superior Court, Chancery Division, please visit http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/index.htm

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