The Register of Wills' principal duties include probating wills and accepting for filing all documents necessary to complete the administration of a decedent's estate. If a person dies without a will, the Register, upon petition, will appoint an administrator of the estate. The Register is also the agent for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to collect inheritance tax.The Register of Wills also serves as the Clerk of Orphans' Court, which serves as the filing office and custodian of records for matters involving adoptions, guardianship and estate litigation, and marriage licenses.(Source: http://www.buckscounty.org/government/RowOfficers/RegisterofWills)
attorney for 32 years; solo practice for 23 years handling social security disability and workers' compensation cases
J.D. - Widener University
B.A - Arcadia University
My legal experience in dealing with clients in times of crisis is a strength I will bring to those who enter this office to handle part of the difficult process of losing a loved one. I have the skills and aptitude to run this office efficiently and with compassion and transparency. I am also interested in making sure the work and documents maintained by this office are appropriately archived and, when necessary, restored, something that has not been a priority of this office.
I have been practicing law for many years and have the ability to effectively deal with the public in good times and bad. This office handles marriage licenses. Marriage equality is an important issue and must be respected, which was not always the position of this office in the past. I bring empathy and sympathy to those suffering a loss and can bring more humanity to this office.
-Two terms modernizing and professionalizing the office;
-Sought after speaker on varied estate, guardianship and adoption topics
-Experience administering and litigating estate issues
College of William and Mary - B.S. Chemistry, minor math
Villanova School of Law - Juris Doctor
We have great accomplishments over the last 7 years, but still have more to do.
We protected taxpayers by doing more with less:
*2019 budget is nearly 14% less than our 2011 expenses, but
*Probate and marriage license volume is up about 20% and
*Orphans’ Court docket entries increased about 50%.
We protected the vulnerable:
*Enforced reporting requirements for guardians of incapacitated persons
*Helped design Guardian Tracking System
*Promoted counseling for people losing parental rights
We made the office more convenient:
*Marriage and probate applications online
*Placed images back to 1684 online
*Opened Lower Bucks Office
We can improve by:
*Strategically identifying original documents to restore and preserve
*Use of electronic archiving of documents
*Use artificial intelligence to reduce manual data entry
*Launch Orphans’ Court e-filing
We wish to continue our record of protecting taxpayers and the vulnerable while looking to the future.
While in office, I have led in the following areas:
-President of PA Registers of Wills Assoc. (2017-2018)
-President of PA State Assoc. of Elected County Officials (current)
-Legislative Liaison for PA Registers of Wills Assoc. (2016-current)
-Appointed by Gov. Wolf to PA State Archives County Records Committee
-Appointed to PA Supreme Court Public Access Policy Implementation Committee
-Judicial Application Development Committee
At the county, we consistently outperform budget expectations. We cross-trained employees, deployed technology and led on formulating a county-wide records management plan for the future.
Professionally, I have taught lawyers continuing education on a) will contests; b) guardianships, and c) general probate. I have represented small businesses, drafted and administered estates and owned a firm. I have represented volunteer fire companies and my church pro bono.
I volunteered time as a softball coach, 4H parent and Penn State Extension Board member.