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  • Writer's pictureHunterdon Board of Commissioners

Hunterdon County Surrogate Susan J. Hoffman Encourages Residents To Obtain A Will


County Surrogate Susan J. Hoffman recently reminded residents about the importance of having a Last Will & Testament and ensuring that your loved ones know where that document located. Ms. Hoffman stated, “Having a will is the most sensible, practical, and surest way that we can protect those who depend upon us.”


As noted on Surrogate Hoffman’s website, a “Will” is a legal declaration of a person's intention concerning what shall be done following the death, as to the disposition of the property and the administration of the estate. Three characteristics of a will set it apart from other forms of property transfer.


1. A will is revocable during life - you can change your mind.

2. A will is inoperative until death - its provisions don't take effect until that time.

3. A will only applies to the situation that exists at death - as to the extent of your property holdings and beneficiaries.


Commissioner John E. Lanza, who serves as liaison to the Surrogate’s Court noted, “Surrogate Hoffman has a wealth of information on her website that can help to guide residents about the importance of having will, which includes ensuring that your assets are distributed in a manner that is consistent with your intentions.”


Just as important as having this document is ensuring that the will is kept up to date, located in a secure place, and that someone knows where to access the document upon your death according to Surrogate Hoffman.


Surrogate Hoffman added, “Recently, I have been seeing more and more people coming to the Surrogate Court that are unsure where the original will is located. Unfortunately, in these cases, this can delay settling the estate and often results in further emotional strain and added stress.”


In addition to information on wills, Surrogate Hoffman’s website also contains important information on issues such as guardianship, adoption, and how to obtain a death certificate.

Commissioner John E. Lanza added, “Surrogate Hoffman and her office do wonderful work on behalf of the residents of Hunterdon County that often goes unnoticed, including assisting with volunteer guardianship and countless adoptions that have made a lasting impact in the lives of many over the years.”


For additional information on the Hunterdon County Surrogate’s Court, please click here.

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