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Warren County Surrogate

The Surrogate administers the Surrogate's Court and passes on the validity of a will, gives the executor proof of his authority to administer the estate, and sees to it that the executor handles the estate properly. Aside from the appointment of a guardian for a minor who comes into an estate, or the supervision and preparation of adoptions, or incompetency hearings, it is common to visit the Surrogate's Court for the appointment of someone to handle the estate of the deceased. The Surrogate is elected for a term of five years.

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    John Massaro

  • Kevin M. O'Neill

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?

Current elected position County Committee Person
Education Technical Automotive and Information Technology, College Information Technology Management
Yrs. of Residence 17 years
The Surrogate is the Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court Chancery Division Probate part under New Jersey Constitution, is the person who passes on the validity of a Will, gives the executor proof of authority to administer the estate and sees to it that the executor handles the estate properly. The Surrogate jurisdiction of this court extends to the probate of Wills, qualifying of Trustees for Testamentary Trusts and the appointment of administrators or affiants of estates where no Will exists.

The Surrogate’s Court can also be a depository for funds awarded to minors. This can be from “friendly settlements”, inheritances, beneficiaries of life insurance proceeds. The funds are deposited into the Surrogate’s "Minors Fund" and remain in this account until the minor reaches majority 18 years of age . The Surrogate is custodian of this fund and acts on the funds at the sole discretion of the New Jersey.
The office of Surrogate in Warren County needs to be brought into the 21st century with updated reporting structure and transparency for the public. Too many areas of our county lack the technology infrastructure to support the demands of today’s businesses and COVID-19 pandemic.

My experience in the insurance industry handling death claims, estate and financial instruments for both clients and the general public as well as many years in Information Technology make me qualified for this position to bring it to current standards especially during this current pandemic. Completed two year course from The Underwriter Life Training Council, SEC Series 6 and Chartered Life Underwriter courses specializing in estate, financial planning and risk management.
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Current elected position Warren County Surrogate
Education Bachelor of Arts
Yrs. of Residence lifelong of Hackettstown, Warren County
The Surrogate verifies the authenticity of a will and qualifies and appoints the nominated personal representative of that will and guides the personal representative in performing his/her duties. In the absence of a will, the Surrogate qualifies and appoints the Administrator of the estate and guides him or her. As Deputy Clerk of Superior Court the Surrogate assists in processing contested wills, adoptions, guardianships and the like. Thirdly, the Surrogate maintains a trust fund to protect the assets of minors which are deposited with the Surrogate.
Continuing to perform all the duties and conducting all the appointments through electronic media without eliminating the human element so vital to individuals involved in the various processes. The Surrogate provides some peace of mind and calm stability and this must be reinforced through electronic contact