Probate

Probate Information Sheets

Please submit the following information. A probate clerk will call you to make an appointment.
Note: Visits to the surrogate court are by appointment only.

Probate Information Sheet A

  • For use when there is a will.

Probate Information Sheet B

  • For use when there is no will.

What does probate mean?

Probating a will refers to the legal process through which the authenticity of a will is established. Once probated, a will becomes a permanent part of the county records.

How do I probate a will?

Upon death, there are certain steps to be taken to ensure the smooth probate of a will.

  1. Locate the decedent’s original will.
  2. Present a correct death certificate with raised seal, names and addresses of persons named in the will, and the names and addresses of all next of kin to the Surrogate Court. If the will is self-proving, it can be probated within a very short time. If the will is not self-proving, one of the witnesses to the will must come to the Surrogate Court or present proof of their signature.
  3. Within sixty days of the will’s probate, the executor shall notify all the heirs and beneficiaries named in the will, with proof sent to the Surrogate’s Court.

The Social Security Office, Veterans’ Administration and employer of the decedent also should be contacted to determine any benefits due the decedent.

What to bring to Surrogate Court when probating a will

  1. A certified copy of a death certificate;
  2. An original will.*
  3. Please be advised that there are Court costs to probating a will. You are advised to bring at least $200 in check or cash to Court.

* If an original will cannot be located, the will, to be admitted to probate, must be formally admitted through proceedings in Superior Court.

B. If the decedent dies without a will:

  1. A certified death certificate;
  2. Renunciations, if applicable, from parties not willing to serve as administrator.

Surrogate Certificate

A Surrogate Certificate is a document confirming that the will has been probated, and an Executor/Administrator has been appointed.

Call 973-285-6500 for an updated Surrogate Certificate.