Surrogate Michael Dressler COVID-19 Announcement

 


MICHAEL R. DRESSLER
BERGEN COUNTY SURROGATE

Please note that the Bergen County Surrogate's Court is open BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Appointments are required for ALL matters, including but not limited to probating estates and other court work, as well as record researching. In order to arrange an appointment, please call 201-336-6700.

Please do not hesitate to ask our staff for help in booking your appointment. We are happy to answer your questions and to direct you to the appropriate division. For example, those making appointments for release of funds must contact our cashier’s division.

Individuals without appointments will be required to leave the premises. In an effort to reduce the number of people in the office, we kindly ask that only those individuals requiring our services enter the office and any companions remain outside. For example, only those individuals specifically designated as executors, administrators, guardians, or trustees will be admitted to the office in probate matters.

It is very important to note that attorneys and pro se clients who wish to pick up or drop off materials must also make an appointment to do so.

As per our Notice to the Bar dated 7/20/21, in the alternative we will continue our policy of probating estates and filing court documents remotely as we established in April 2020 (see PUBLIC NOTICE).

Outlined below are the instructions for documents you will need to send us in a probate matter. We have provided links to download an information fact sheet with renunciation forms attached, which are essential documents in creating any case in our system. It is important that you choose the correct form(s) depending on whether or not there was a Last Will & Testament.

DOWNLOAD: WILL FACT SHEET.
DOWNLOAD: ADMINISTRATION FACT SHEET (NO WILL).

***It is imperative that you include a daytime phone number and/or valid email address when you contact our office! Failure to do so may result in a significant delay in the probate/administration process.***

You may send the following documents via mail to our attention to assist in processing a PROBATE through our office at this time:

1. Last Will & Testament

IMPORTANT NOTE: If sending the original, you MUST send it via FedEx, UPS, certified/registered mail.  In other words, it MUST be tracked however you choose to send the original to our attention. Please allow two weeks for mailing and processing time once you have sent your documents prior to calling for a follow up due to the tremendous high volume response to our new system.

2. Certified copy of the death certificate (raised seal)

IMPORTANT NOTE: We REQUIRE that you send us at the very least a copy of the death certificate as a part of your initial inquiry. And, as outlined below, we will also require a certified copy of the death certificate (with a raised seal) to finalize the matter.

3. Fiduciary(ies) full name(s) and address(es), phone number(s) and Social Security number(s).

4. Names and addresses of immediate next-of-kin even if they are not in the LW&T.

5. How many Surrogate certificates you need to order.

6. Photocopy of 2 forms of ID (driver's license, passport, work ID, etc) for fiduciary(ies)!

IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE DECEDENT’S PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. PHOTO ID REQUIREMENTS ARE FOR FIDUCIARIES (administrators, executors, trustees, etc.) ONLY

7. Photocopy of proof of address (utility bill, credit card bill, etc.)

8. Mail or e-mail the information to us. Please include the name of the deceased, the date of death and any pertinent case or microfilm number in the subject line of any e-mails for quick reference.  Our physical address remains the same and is listed above.

9. Please call us afterward so and we can make arrangements to take NJ fiduciary's(ies') signatures via WebEx and fully explain the WebEx process.

10. VERY IMPORTANT: We will require the original Last Will & Testament, a Certified Copy of the Death Certificate with a raised seal (referenced above in #2) and the statutory fee to finalize the procedure in a probate matter.

If you have any questions about our fees (or our fee schedule itself), you may call our office to discuss them: (201) 336-6700.


You may contact our various departments via e-mail as follows:

For probate: bersurrprobate@co.bergen.nj.us

For court division: bersurrcourt@co.bergen.nj.us

For finance division: bersurrfinance@co.bergen.nj.us

For correspondence: bersurrcorrespondence@co.bergen.nj.us

For records: bersurrrecords@co.bergen.nj.us

For letters: bersurrletters@co.bergen.nj.us


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