Meredith Jones, Kings County Surrogate’s Court Judge candidate, today announced her plan to protect estates from deed and equity theft.
Jones plans to use her nearly two decades background as an attorney in the Kings County Surrogate’s Court to help Brooklynites save their homes.
“I’ve witnessed firsthand hardworking families lose their homes to deed and equity theft,” Jones said. “These scams are ravaging Brooklyn and robbing whole communities of generational wealth.” said Jones.
Jones’s plan includes:
- Carefully reviewing any documents (such as powers of attorney) which authorize the transfer of estate real property;
- Requiring transfers or sales of estate real property to be approved by the court, where appropriate;
- Requiring that requests to sell estate real property be made on notice to the heirs, clearly stating the proposed purchase price, allowing heirs the opportunity to object to the proposed sale; and
- Reviewing proposed “short sales” of estate real property to ensure that the proposed sale benefits the heirs of the estate.
Jones is seeking the Democratic nomination for the judicial seat and if elected would serve 14 years starting in January 2020. The Surrogate’s Court hears cases involving the affairs of decedents, including the probate of wills and the administration of estates. It also handles adoptions.
The current judges serving on the bench are the Hon. Margarita Lopez Torres and Hon. Harriet Thompson.
Jones attended Cornell University and graduated from Cornell Law School in 1996. In 2003, after practicing as a private attorney, she began a full-time position in public service, becoming the first black attorney to serve in the law department of the Kings County Surrogate’s Court.
In her current position as a Court Attorney- Referee, she conducts trials and hearings, performs research and drafts decisions for review by the Surrogate Judge. Jones also conducts settlement conferences, advises the Surrogate Judge on the law and makes recommendations regarding resolution of matters that come before the court.
Additionally, Jones has been found qualified by the Judicial Screening Committee of the Kings County Democratic Party for the position of Judge of the Surrogate’s Court. She is the only candidate found qualified who can serve the complete term of office.