I’m a husband and dad from Mendham Township. I have also been a trusts and estates attorney and Surrogate Court practitioner for over 20 years. I am running for the position as Surrogate of Morris County this election, November 5, 2019. The Surrogate is a constitutional officer who qualifies executors and trustees named in wills, appoints administrators for those who die without wills, and appoints guardians for minors and legally incapacitated persons. The Surrogate Court also oversees contested estate matters, guardianships, and adoptions in the Superior Court. People come to the Surrogate’s office during the most difficult times of their lives. They are seeking professional guidance through complex legal matters often related to the incapacitation or death of a loved one. They need a lawyer with the necessary expertise. They need a practitioner, not a politician.
In my two decades as a trusts and estates attorney I have managed teams doing the work of the Surrogate Court. I often handle the most complicated cases, referred to me by other attorneys who understand the value of experience in this unique area of the law. I have drafted over 1,000 wills and trusts and assisted over 500 families navigate the process of the Surrogate Court. I have drafted hundreds of special needs trusts to protect seniors and disabled children. I have a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) focusing on estate planning and administration. I regularly present legal education classes, and write chapters for the course books, for other attorneys and Surrogate Court personnel on estate planning and Surrogate Court practice. I have been appointed to a four-year term by the New Jersey Supreme Court to the Office of Attorney Ethics, District Ethics Committee.
As an experienced trusts and estates attorney and Surrogate Court practitioner, I feel the biggest issues facing the Surrogate’s Court relate to shepherding the office into the next decade. What I propose if elected is the following: (1) Manage budgets and taxpayer resources cost-effectively as the number of cases handled each year will continue to increase; (2) Increase greater accessibility for residents in all 39 towns of Morris County by providing satellite offices and convenient hours; (3) Leverage technology to provide educational and bilingual resources online, along with case status information. If elected Surrogate, I vow to keep petty partisan politics out of the Surrogate Court and serve all Morris County residents with professionalism, courtesy, and compassion.