The Essex County Surrogate's Court empowers residents to make the right decisions for their families at every stage, from birth through adoptions and guardianships, to death through will validation and estate management. We touch the lives of every resident across our community. Here, we will outline the previous year’s successes and progress, as well as our goals for the upcoming year.
In 2022, we attended various community events, like Essex County Senior Wellness Day, to educate residents at all stages of life about Essex County Surrogate's Court services.
For Developmental Disability Awareness Month in March, we collaborated with April Fronduto-Slavin, Esq. and Thomasina R. Thornton, Esq. to host a webinar about adult guardianships and the options available for children with developmental disabilities aging into adulthood.
In commemoration of National Estate Planning Awareness Week in October, we produced a video sharing 5 crucial tips to help residents get started with estate planning.
Essex County Surrogate Alturrick Kenney published "Where There's A Will: How Estate Planning Can Help Black Families Keep Wealth In The Family," an op-ed in The Grio that discusses how estate planning can help Black families build generational wealth.
Essex County Residents Served
Essex County Surrogate’s Court had a busy 2022. We continued our efforts to educate the public on the breadth of services our office provides through various events, media coverage, videos, and more, ensuring that we provide Essex County residents with the support they need to make the right decisions for their families.
Taxpayer Dollars Saved
The Essex County Surrogate’s Court provides invaluable support services to the Essex County community at little to no cost to our taxpayers. In 2022, the revenue generated from our services covered 92% of our budget, making our office efficient, impactful, and most importantly, self-sustaining.
Starting in 2023, we will embark on the goal to digitize all public records from the 1700s to 2016. Currently, most of the court’s records are on microfiche/microfilm and books. We will digitize them in a format that will allow us to upload them to our Bluestone Database, with the ultimate goal of making them accessible online.
This project is expected to take 3 years and cost approximately $1 million. Because of the pandemic, we recognized that in the future, physical access to these records may be limited due to varying circumstances. Digitizing the records will ensure that the public can access them regardless of their physical availability. Additionally, it will account for the deterioration of the paper records from the 1700s and 1800s.