Michael, Boone and Pandora Thompson

I’m not a politician. I’m a husband, dad, and (very) amateur guitar player from Mendham Township. I have also been a trusts and estates attorney for over 20 years. In that time, I have practiced before various Surrogate’s Courts throughout New Jersey. I am now running for the position as Surrogate of Morris County in the election in November of 2019.


I was born in the military hospital at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama in 1968. My father was stationed at Redstone after a tour in Vietnam. My parents, Neil and Patricia Thompson, were high school sweethearts from Sayreville, New Jersey.

I graduated from Monroe Township High School in Middlesex County where I played varsity basketball and baseball. I received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Rutgers College in 1991.

Graduation 1997 with my grandmother, Margaret Cavanaugh Thomas

I graduated from law school at Rutgers in 1997 and first worked for Danna and Associates – a small boutique trust and estates firm in New York City. I later headed that firm’s New Jersey office from 2001 to 2006.

I attended New York University Law School part time while I worked full time and earned an LLM degree in Taxation.

In 2008, I joined the Tax, Trusts, and Estates Department at Coughlin Duffy LLP in Morristown and New York City. I continued to focus my practice in the areas of estate and tax planning, estate administration, disability planning and elder law.

In 2010, I partnered with Maria A. Cestone to create Cestone & Thompson, P.C. with offices in East Hanover and New York City. Our goal was to combine our skills and draw upon our individual law firm backgrounds to provide our clients the benefits of our collective experience. Our collaborative approach employs the knowledge we have gained at both small and larger firms over a combined 40 years.

I am admitted to practice law in New Jersey and New York and before the United States Tax Court. I am a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association (Elder Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Sections) and the New York State Bar Association. I am a past member of the Advisory Council for Dress for Success Morris County. I frequently speak before legal, business and community groups on the topics of estate and tax planning, estate administration, disability planning and elder law. In September of 2016, I was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey to a four year term serving on the Office of Attorney Ethics, District VB Ethics Committee.

I met my wife, Pandora, at Rutgers College in 1988. We’ve been together ever since. We were married in 1995 while we attended law school together – she at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. My wife is also a trusts and estate attorney. I often say that she is the smartest attorney I know. I think our partnership works so well because we understand the difficulties of the job. It also affords us the opportunity to pick each other’s brains at night and brainstorm solutions to legal problems.

Boone combines his love of Star Wars and euphonium

Our son Boone was born in 2007. He is a 5th grader at Mendham Township Middle School. He loves math, music, swimming, legos, video games and Star Wars. He has recently taken up an instrument that I had never heard of until a few months ago – the euphonium. He is my parents’ seventh (and final?) grandchild.

I am fortunate that my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews all live in New Jersey. We are a close family and try to take vacations together each summer – all 16 of us.