Salem County Surrogate Court

856.935.7510 x8323
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Mon – Fri : 8:30am – 4:30pm
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Resources & Literature


Estate Identification Number (EIN)

PLEASE NOTE: The estate identification number is required to open an estate account. The number is provided free through the federal government.

  • If you find yourself on a site that charges a fee, you are not on the government site and should exit immediately.
  • Download (pdf) :  SS-4 Form
  • IRS Website  (Not a direct link for the SS-4 Form, but may be useful for other IRS forms) IRS Telephone Number:  1-800-829-4933

Frequently Requested Phone Numbers

Glossary of Terms

  • Administrator (also known as Personal Representative) – Person or institution appointed by the court to manage and distribute the estate of a person who dies without a will.
  • Administrator Ad Prosequendum – Person designated by the Court to carry out the terms of a Will where the Will fails to name an executor.
  • Beneficiary – Person named to receive property or benefits.
  • Codicil – An addition or supplement made to change or add provisions to a will.
  • Contingent beneficiary – Receiver or property or benefits if first-named beneficiary dies before receiving all benefits.
  • Contract – Legally enforceable agreement.
  • Decedent – A deceased person.
  • Devise – To give real or Personal Property.
  • Estate – Everything a person owns, real and personal property
  • Executor, Executrix – (also known as a Personal Representative) – A person or institution named in the will to carry out the provisions and directions of the will.
  • Intestate – A person who dies without making a valid will.
  • Legatee – Person who receives personal property under a will.
  • Levy – To collect by assessment.
  • Lien – A charge upon property, real or personal, for the satisfaction of a debt.
  • Personal property – Intangible property, such as stocks, bonds, or bank accounts; and tangible property such as furniture, automobile, jewelry.
  • Probate – Official proof of the genuineness of a will.
  • Real Property – Land and buildings.
  • Surrogate – A judicial officer who is Judge of the Surrogate’s Court and deputy clerk to the Superior Court.
  • Tenants in common – Two or more persons owning individual interests in property.
  • Testator, Testatrix – The person who makes a will.
  • Trust – A fiduciary arrangement that allows a third part, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries.
  • Trustee – Person or institution that holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another.
  • Waiver – A legal instrument relinquishing a right or lien.
  • Will – A legal declaration of the manner in which a person wishes his estate divided after death.
  • Witness – Person who observed the signing of a will and also attests to the signatures.

Helpful Links

Will Preparation

  • Salem County Bar Association– Lawyer Referral Service – (856) 935-5629
  • South Jersey Legal Services – Free Last Will & Testament and Power of Attorney for those that qualify. Primary Phone #:  800-496-4570  (Mon-Fri 9:00a – 1:00p) Secondary Phone #:  856-691-0494  (Mon-Fri 9:00a – 5:00p)

Note that the Salem County Surrogate’s Court cannot recommend legal representation for you.


Citizens Guide to Frequently Asked Questions

Digital Assets

Personal Records Handbook

Important Information & Reminders