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Somerset County Surrogate

The Somerset County Surrogate probates wills: qualifies executors, administrators, and trustees and issues necessary documents for administering estates. As custodian of the funds belonging to minors’ estates, oversees the minors' assets and expenditures until the minor reaches majority. Processes mental incompetencies and conservatorships and handles all adoptions of minors and adults.The Surrogate serves a five year term.

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  • Frank Bruno

  • Candidate picture

    Bernice "Tina" Jalloh

Biographical Information

What are the constitutionally mandated responsibilities of the office and why are you the best qualified to address them?

In your view, what are the biggest issues facing the Surrogate's Office at this time?

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Campaign Address 27 North Bridge St Somerville, NJ 08876
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Each county has a Surrogate who is elected to a five year term by the people of the county they serve. Surrogates probate wills, appoint administrators, select guardians for minors and incapacitated adults, and handle conservatorships, adoptions, contested Probate matters, trusts, and most other matters involving estates.

Unlike my opponent, I am an attorney with experience serving clients in Surrogate and Superior Courts. I was awarded the 2019 Legal Services of NJ Equal Justice Award for my volunteer work. In addition to my experience as an attorney, I also have 20 years experience managing large staffs as a hospital administrator ensuring quality customer service, and hold a Masters in Public Administration.

As the only choice on the ballot who has the combination of a law degree, has written and defended wills for clients, extensive customer service and management experience, as well as an MPA, I am the best qualified candidate for the Somerset County Surrogate’s office.
The biggest issues facing the Surrogate’s office today are citizen preparation, accessibility, and technology.

We have recently lost many people to COVID-19 who did not have a Will. I will use my experience as Director of Training and Development and as a lawyer to provide seminars to educate the public on Estate Planning. I will bring this training to Senior Centers, community organizations, religious institutions, and other settings upon request.

The Somerset County Surrogate’s office is currently only open weekdays from 8:30 to 4:30 forcing working people to take time off from their jobs to handle their loved ones’ affairs. I will open the Surrogate’s office at least two evenings per month. Plus, I will open Satellite offices in the community, so our citizens do not have to travel to Somerville to obtain our services.

Additionally, we are in the 21st Century so I will put our forms and annual reports online for attorneys and residents to speed their access to our services.