Running for Kent County, Register of Wills

John Kelly of Dover has filed for Kent County Register of Wills in the coming November 3 election. Born and raised in Dover, he is a retired Certified Public Accountant and businessman who served in many areas of financial responsibility for more than 32 years. Mr. Kelly is experienced in all aspects of tax and financial reporting for corporations, individuals, partnerships, estates and trusts. He holds a Master of Science in Taxation from Widener University, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Delaware, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Kelly has also served as president of the Delaware Foreign-Trade Zone Administrators Corporation and prepared annual reports for the Foreign-Trade Zones Board and U.S. Customs.

His community involvements have included serving as treasurer for Delaware Ballet; St. Thomas More Academy; and the Kent County Republican Party. He is also a member of the Dover Capital City Rotary Club and of Del Vets Post 2. Mr. Kelly’s recent experience with the Register of Wills Office dealing with his mother’s estate resulted in the development of an "Education – Simplification – Modernization" blueprint to revitalize the Office. The blueprint establishes methods and systems designed to assist the taxpayer during a very difficult time in their lives. Contact for more information.


Changes that need to be made:

There is NO excuse for the Register of Wills (ROW) office to be dependent on a paper system. The office must be paperless.

The ROW is hurting the very constituents it should be helping. Nowhere in the instructions does it say that the decedent’s original documents will NOT be returned. It is mentioned at the final accounting meeting, when it is too late to make copies of the originals. But, the ROW will gladly charge $1 per copy ‘your’ documents. In fact, ROW has a Revenue line item in their budget!

There must be a paperless document system for deceased individuals’ estate documentation. In addition, provisions should be made to be able to perform an Estate Search.

Register of Wills Function

The Register of Wills Office records wills after death and other documents pertaining to estate matters in Kent County, Delaware. The Office is responsible for overseeing the appointments of personal representatives and for administering estate proceedings. This office is also held accountable for making sure that the estate is in compliance with the Delaware law and Kent County policies. All estate matters are maintained as permanent records.

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