Ellen M. Magee of Williamsville is Sussex County’s Register of Wills, appointed by Delaware Gov. John C. Carney in January 2021 to fill a vacancy in the office when the previous occupant, Cynthia Green, who rose to the elected County Council.
A lifelong Sussex-Countian, Ellen is a familiar face in the community, having for decades helped run a family farm founded in the Civil War-era, one that is renown in the summertime, especially for the sweet, syrupy strawberries that made Sussex County, Delaware famous more than a century ago. When not sowing seeds and peddling produce with her three sons, Ellen finds time for her other passion – public service.
In her 18 months in office, Magee has held fees to a minimum, and has streamlined scheduling by implementing a ‘call ahead’ system. This has eliminated the need to be waiting in office for hours. She has also shortened probate appointments to less than a month. She has also sent 6 years of files to Dover for archiving. If elected, she’ll keep the momentum gained over last 18 months. She’ll ensure that title 12 remains in force; she’ll continue archiving files from previous years; she’ll continue pre-registration of wills for safe keeping, and she’ll continue to keep updating the wills and estates instruction booklets, working with Kent and New Castle counties to update needed forms, ensuring that they are easier to understand and fill out, assisting both probate and non-probate customers. The register of wills office has never been busier or run more efficiently.
A proud member of the Roxana Fire Company’s Ladies Auxiliary for the past 40 years, Ellen has served in various roles in that time, including as president, vice president, treasurer, and member of the board of directors. Additionally, she is a past president and board member of the Delaware Burn Camp, past board member for the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation, and past member of the State of Delaware Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators; currently, she is a member of the Delaware Board of Charitable Gaming, confirmed by the Delaware Senate, a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and a board member for Camp Barnes. Ellen may be new in her role as Register of Wills, but she is no stranger to County government, having served most recently as chairwoman of the County’s Board of Adjustment, a quasi-judicial panel that reviews requests for variances or special use exceptions to the County Code. In her new role, Ellen has utilized her years of managerial experience as a longtime small business owner, along with her years of public service on numerous boards and commissions and with charitable causes, to ensure the Sussex County Register of Wills office has run efficiently and in accordance with state laws.