Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 572-0500
www.njlaws.com

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Middlesex County Surrogate -Directions from Kenneth Vercammen office Phone Number: (732) 745-3055

Middlesex County Surrogate -Directions from Kenneth Vercammen office
 Phone Number: (732) 745-3055
         The Middlesex County Surrogate is located on the first floor of the new County Administration Building. The Surrogate's Office functions as a court with jurisdiction over uncontested probate matters such as wills, guardianships, administrations, trusteeships, etc. With respect to contested probate matters, the Surrogate serves as a clerk for the court hearing the matter. Source: See http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/middlesex/surrogate.htm

MIDDLESEX COUNTY SURROGATE COURT OFFICE LOCATIONS & HOURS

Middlesex County Administration Building - 1st floor
75 Bayard Street- New Brunswick
Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Phone Number: (732) 745-3055
No appointment necessary

Walk out Ferren Deck onto Paterson St. Courthouse is across the street. Middlesex County Administration Building and Surrogate Office is next to Courthouse.
Cross Paterson, then walk right to rear entrance of Middlesex County Administration Building

Parking is available at:
Wellness Plaza Garage
Parking Garage
100 Joyce Kilmer Ave

Gateway Garage
Parking Garage
106 Somerset St 6th Floor
(732) 545-3118


Paterson Street Deck
Parking Garage
124 Paterson St
(732) 545-3118

Civic Square Deck
Parking Garage
23 Kirkpatrick St
(732) 545-3118

Lower Church Street Deck
Parking Garage
90 Church St
(732) 545-3118

Morris Street Deck
Parking Garage
70 New St
You can also park at Hyatt Hotel and walk. Ferren deck has been demolished

________________________

Other locations of Middlesex Surrogate- by appointment
WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP

Woodbridge Health Center
George Frederick Plaza (behind main library)
Tuesday & Thursday Mornings by appointment only
Tel. (732) 745-3055

PISCATAWAY TOWNSHIP

Public Safety Building
555 Sidney Road (off of Hoes Lane)
Wednesday Mornings
By appointment only Tel. (732) 745-3055

MONROE TOWNSHIP

Monroe Township Municipal Building
Perrineville Road
Thursday Mornings
By appointment only Tel. (732) 745-3055

EAST BRUNSWICK TOWNSHIP

Jean Walling Civic Center Drive
Senior Citizen Center (behind main library)
Wednesday Afternoons
By appointment only Tel. (732) 745-3055

EDISON TOWNSHIP

Edison Township Municipal Building
100 Municipal Boulevard (off of Route 27)
Tuesday Afternoons
By appointment only Tel. (732) 745-3055

Source: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/middlesex/surrogate.htm


Middlesex County Surrogate Court
Middlesex County Administration Building - 1st floor
75 Bayard Street
New Brunswick, NJ

Approx. Distance 5 miles from Vercammen Law office

Phone Number: (732) 745-3055

From the New Jersey Turnpike:

Take Exit 9 to Route 18 North.
Take Route 18 North to New Brunswick to the New Street exit.
Take overpass at New Street to New Street.
From New Street turn right at first traffic light onto Neilson Street.

From Neilson Street turn left onto Church Street   [across from Hyatt Hotel]

pass light at George St,  then under building into Ferren Parking Deck.
Park car.
Walk out Ferren Deck onto Paterson St. Courthouse is across the street. Middlesex County Administration Building and Surrogate Office is next to courthouse.

From the Garden State Parkway:

Take the 129 exit to the NJ Turnpike southbound, follow as stated
above.

From Perth Amboy:

Take 287 North to WEST on CR-514/WOODBRIDGE AVE toward Highland Park.  Cross over Route 1, then go right to turn around on Woodbridge Ave. follow signs to Route 1 south

Route 1 South to Route 18.

Take Route 18 North to New Brunswick to the New Street exit.
Take overpass at New Street to New Street.
From New Street turn right at first traffic light onto Neilson Street.

From Neilson Street turn left onto Church Street   [across from Hyatt Hotel]

Pass light at George St,  then under building into Ferren Parking Deck.
Park car.
Walk out Ferren Deck onto Paterson St. Courthouse is across the street. Middlesex County Administration Building and Surrogate Office is next to Courthouse.
Cross Paterson, then walk right to rear entrance of Middlesex County Administration Building
From Somerville:

Take 287 South to Exit 10 (527) for Easton Avenue.
Take Easton Avenue to the end and turn left onto Albany Street.
From Albany Street, turn right onto George Street (at next traffic light).

From George Street turn right onto Bayard Street (3 blocks from Albany Street.)

Courthouse & Middlesex Administration Building is on the right side, one block from George Street.

From Monmouth and Ocean Counties

Take Route 9 North to Route 18.

Take Route 18 North to New Brunswick to the New Street exit.
Take overpass at New Street to New Street.
From New Street turn right at first traffic light onto Neilson Street.

From Neilson Street turn left onto Church Street   [across from Hyatt Hotel]

Pass light at George St,  then under building into Ferren Parking Deck.
Park car.

Hire a Probate Attorney To help with Probate, Wills and Estate Distribution

         Kenneth Vercammen is an Elder Law and Litigation Attorney in Edison, NJ. He often lectures for the American Bar Association and New Jersey State Bar Association on Elder Law, personal injury, and criminal / municipal court matters.  He has published 125 articles in national and New Jersey publications on legal topics. He speaks as a volunteer on Wills and Elder law to Adult Community Schools and non profit groups including Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, Piscataway, Sayreville, Old Bridge, Spotswood and Perth Amboy Seniors. He has established New Jersey's most popular Elder law website on the Internet to provide information on Probate, Elder Law and Traffic matters located at www.njlaws.com

         In his private practice, he has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters.  He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey several times each week on many personal injury matters, Municipal Court trials, arbitration hearings and contested administrative law hearings.
         Since 1985, his primary concentration has been on litigation matters.  Mr. Vercammen gained other legal experiences as the Confidential Law Clerk to the Court of Appeals of Maryland (Supreme Court), with the Delaware County, PA District Attorney Office handling Probable Cause Hearings, Middlesex County Probation Dept as a Probation Officer, and an Executive Assistant to Scranton District Magistrate, Thomas Hart, in Scranton, PA.

Call the law office at 732-572-0500 to schedule a confidential appointment.

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
Attorneys at Law
2053 Woodbridge Avenue
Edison, NJ 08817

732-572-0500

Have a Power of Attorney for your children after they are over 18

Have a Power of Attorney for your children after they are over 18

WHEN YOUR CHILD BECOMES AN “ADULT” 

Posted by: Begley Law Group 
by Kevin M. Buttery, Esquire
Believe it or not, when your child turns 18 he or she is considered a legal adult, and that means that even as their parent you no longer have the ability to control their financial or personal decisions. This makes it difficult to safeguard their physical and financial well-being. Even parents with the most responsible children may have restless nights knowing their child is now exposed to the world without protection. Particularly when your child goes off to college, it becomes important to be able to manage their finances and have access to medical records and grades. While your college-bound child may find it imposing, unnecessary or laughable, it is a good idea to have your young adult execute a General Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney and HIPAA Release, so you can act on your adult child’s behalf while he or she is enjoying the new experience of college.
Under a General Durable Power of Attorney, you would have the ability to ensure that your adult child’s bills, tuition and other expenses are paid. You will have access to their credit cards accounts, as well as the ability to pay those accounts. Additionally, you will have the ability to speak with the Bursar’s office to make sure that tuition is paid. The ability to monitor your child’s finances while he or she is busy with school can serve to head off minor problems that could potentially become major problems.
An Advance Medical Directive and Health Care Power of Attorney is essential for a newly-minted adult, especially one attending college. In the event of an emergency, the parent of an 18-year old without any form of Health Care Power of Attorney would find it difficult to obtain medical information pertaining to the adult child. This becomes even more problematic if the child is unable to make decisions and there is no surrogate decision-maker in place.
In a time when medical providers are becoming ever more vigilant in protecting the information of their patients, even from the loved ones of such a patient, it has become increasingly necessary for parents to enter into more formal arrangements with their adult children, especially during the vulnerable years of college. source
http://www.begleylawyer.com/2017/06/when-your-child-becomes-an-adult/

Release & Refunding Bond in Probate matters

  Release & Refunding Bond in Probate matters

         Under New Jersey law it is the duty of the fiduciary [Executor or Administrator] to make arrangements to pay bills and other estate expenses and carry out instructions under the Will. NJSA 3B:23-24 provides the fiduciary shall take a Release and Refunding Bond from each beneficiary.
         The attorney for the estate prepares the Release and Refunding Bond. The approximate amount that beneficiary will release is typed on the release form. It is mailed the beneficiaries with the following language:

          “Please read the enclosed draft Release and Refunding Bonds and estate accounting. If you have any questions regarding the accounting, please call the executor directly since they have the bank records. The law office does not have bank records. Every beneficiary will need to sign their Release and Refunding Bond. If any beneficiary does not sign their release and refunding bond, then the estate funds cannot be distributed to anyone until approved by the Superior Court. An Accounting and Court approval under Rule 4:87-1 would take many months. We are requesting all beneficiaries to immediately make arrangements to sign the Release and Refunding Bond in front of a notary, and return it to my office. Please also note under New Jersey law each beneficiary must certify they do not owe child support. Please fill out the child support section by hand.
         The Release & Refunding Bond must be filed with the County Surrogate and a fee paid. “
By statute (N.J.S.A. 3B:23-24) an Executor  or Administrator is required on paying a beneficiary his/her share of the estate, to take a Refunding Bond and Release from the beneficiary and to file the bond in the Surrogate’s Court.  The statute requires that the Refunding Bond and Release be in the amount or value of the beneficiary’s share of the estate. The beneficiary must sign the Refunding Bond and Release before a Notary Public or attorney.  If the beneficiary is a minor or incapacitated person, the Refunding Bond and Release must be signed by the guardian of the property.   
The Refunding Bond and Release has a dual purpose:           
Refunding – To refund to the Executor or Administrator out of his/her share of the estate his ratable part of any unpaid debts, owed by the testator or intestate, if there are no other assets to pay them. 
          Release - To discharge the Executor or Administrator of an estate of his/her duties upon distribution to the beneficiary of his/her share of the estate.            
In an Administration without a Will that required a Surety Bond, the Administrator  must request a Certificate of Release from the Surrogate at the time he/she files the Refunding Bond and Release.  A Surety Bond will not be cancelled by the insurance agent unless the Certificate of Release is presented to the agent.  

         It is necessary to file the completed Refunding Bond and Release from each beneficiary of the estate with the Surrogate’s Court.  The statutory fee for filing is $ 10.00 per bond and  $ 5.00 for the Certificate of Release. 

Compel an Accounting And Removal of an Estate Execu

New Jersey is considered a “probate friendly” state since the executors are not required to obtain court approvals for most actions. However, if the executor is not complying with state law, in NJ the only recourse a beneficiary has is to file a complaint and Order to Show Cause.
Trust & Estates
Compel an Accounting And Removal of an Estate Executor
By Kenneth Vercammen
Under New Jersey Law, the person selected as an executor of a will has numerous legal responsibilities following the death of the person who signed the will. Primarily, they have a duty to probate the will, liquidate assets, pay bills and taxes, file all necessary court and tax returns, and then distribute the assets to beneficiaries. If there is no will, state law determines which relatives can petition the surrogate to be appointed as "administrator" of the estate.
In New Jersey, the court and surrogate do not supervise how an executor or administrator handles the estate. An executor occasionally fails to timely carry out their duties. They may fail to file tax returns, fail to keep records, misappropriate funds or ignore instructions under the will. If a beneficiary is not satisfied with the handling of the estate, they can have an attorney file a complaint in the superior Court to compel accounting, remove the executor, compel filing of tax returns and seek other relief.
The new probate statute of NJ made a number of substantial changes to the provisions governing the administration of estates and trusts in New Jersey.
Under the United States Supreme Court Case, Tulsa Professional Collection Services, Inc., v. Joanne Pope, Executrix of the Estate of H. Everett Pope, Jr., Deceased, 108 S.CT. 1340 (1988), the personal representative in every estate is personally responsible to provide actual notice to all known or "readily ascertainable" creditors of the decedent. This means that is the executor’s responsibility to diligently search for any "readily ascertainable" creditors.
In lieu of a formal accounting the beneficiaries will usually be requested to sign a release and refunding bond. If a beneficiary has evidence of misappropriation, they should ask the executor for an informal accounting prior to signing the release and refunding bond. 
Complaint for Accounting
A Complaint for Accounting is filed in the superior court probate court to request on accounting, removal of the current executor and selection of a new person to administer and wrap up the estate. See Rule 4:87-1.
A signed certification of one or more beneficiaries is needed. In addition, an Order to Show Cause is prepared by the attorney. The Order to Show Cause is submitted to be signed by the judge directing the executor to file a written answer to the complaint, as well as appear before the court at a specific date and time. The NJ Judiciary website has a model form Order to Show Cause.
As with a litigated court matter, trials can become expensive. Competent elder law/probate attorney may charge an hourly rate of $275-$400 per hour, with a minimum retainer of $3,000 needed. Most attorneys require the retainer to be paid in full up front.
The plaintiff can request the following:
(1) That the named executor be ordered to provide an accounting of the estate to plaintiff.
(2) Defendant executor be ordered to provide an accounting for all assets of decedent dated five years prior to death that defendant may have administrated through a power of attorney.
(3) Payment of plaintiff's attorney's fees and costs of suit for the action.
(4) Declaring a constructive trust of the assets of the decedent for the benefit of the plaintiff and the estate.
(5) The executor may be removed as the executor/administrator of the estate and that the plaintiff may be named as Administrator C.T.A. or administrator of the estate.
(6) That the executor be barred from spending any estate funds, be barred from paying any bills, be barred from taking a commission, be barred from writing checks, be barred from acting on behalf of the estate, except as specifically authorized by superior court order or written consent by the plaintiff. The statue on removing the executor for cause is NJSA 3B:14-21.
Object to Executor’s Commissions
        Under NJSA 3B:18-1 et seq., executors, administrators and other fiduciaries are entitled to receive a commission on both the principal of the estate, and the income earned by assets.
However, if you have evidence that the executor has breached their fiduciary duties or violated a law, the superior court accounting complaint can request that the commissions be reduced or eliminated.
Compel The Sale of Real Estate and Other Property
Occasionally, a family member is living in a home owned by the decedent. To keep family harmony, often this family member is permitted to remain in the home temporarily. However, it may later become clear that the resident has no desire on moving, and the executor has neither an intention to make them move nor to sell the house. The remedy a beneficiary has can be to have the attorney include in the Superior Court Complaint a count to: (1) remove the executor; (2) remove the tenant and make them pay rent to the estate for the time they used the real property since death without paying rent; (3) compel the appraisal of the home and, thereafter, the sale of the property and (4) make the executor reimburse the estate for the neglect or waste of assets.
Removal for cause of Executor  
The court may remove a fiduciary from office when:   
a.  After due notice of an order or judgment of the court so directing, he neglects or refuses, within the time fixed by the court, to file an inventory, render an account or give security or additional security;

   
b.  After due notice of any other order or judgment of the court made under its proper authority, he neglects or refuses to perform or obey the order or judgment within the time fixed by the court;  or

   
c. He has embezzled, wasted or misapplied any part of the estate committed to his custody, or has abused the trust and confidence reposed in him; or

   
       d. He has removed from the state or does not reside therein and neglects or refuses to proceed with the administration of the estate and perform the duties and trust devolving upon him; or

          
       e. He is of unsound mind or mentally incapacitated for the transaction of business; or

   
f. One of two or more fiduciaries has neglected or refused to perform his duties or to join with the other fiduciary or fiduciaries in the administration of the estate committed to their care whereby the proper administration and settlement of the estate is or may be hindered or prevented.
In addition, "a court may invoke its equity powers to remove [an executor]." In re Duke, 305 N.J. Super. 408, 438 (Ch. Div. 1995) (citing In re Koretzky, 8 N.J. 506, 530 (1951)). However, a judge should be particularly reluctant to remove a fiduciary chosen by the decedent, Connelly v. Weisfeld, 142 N.J. Eq. 406, 411 (E. & A. 1948), and the foremost concern when such an act is contemplated should be whether the executor's continued service would be detrimental to the estate. Wolosoff v. CSI Liquidating Trust, 205 N.J. Super. 349, 360 (App. Div. 1985)
The critical question is "whether the circumstances are such that the continuance . . . in office would be detrimental to the [estate] and require the court to grant relief." Thus, mere friction between an executor and beneficiaries is not a ground for removal unless the relationship is likely to "interfere materially with the administration" of the estate. Estate litigation is often acrimonious, but the removal of an executor appointed by the decedent is generally to be avoided.
"Generally, in order for friction or hostility between the beneficiary and trustee to form the basis for removal, there must be a demonstration that the relationship will interfere materially with the administration of the trust or is likely to do so.” There also must be proof that the friction or hostility arose out of the trustee's behavior. Starr v. Wiley, 89 N.J. Eq. 79, 90 (Ch. 1918)
New Jersey is considered a “probate friendly” state since the executors are not required to obtain court approvals for most actions. However, if the executor is not complying with state law, in NJ the only recourse a beneficiary has is to file a complaint and Order to Show Cause.
       Planning can only be done while someone is competent and alive. Make sure your assets can be passed directly to your loved ones.

Vercammen is a trial attorney in Edison. He often lectures for the New Jersey State Bar Association, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and Middlesex County College on personal injury, criminal/municipal court law, drunk driving and contested probate estate administration.