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Mary M. Culley

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500 Delaware Avenue
Suite 1500
Wilmington, DE 19801-1494
T: 302.888.6885
F: 302.571.1750
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Mary M. Culley has facilitated the decision-making processes of individuals, families, and fiduciaries in Delaware and Pennsylvania in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, and federal and state transfer taxation for over 25 years.

Estate and gift planning comprise a significant portion of Mary’s practice. She assists clients with estate plans designed to accomplish their personal goals and preserve wealth by minimizing transfer taxes and probate fees. She designs estate plans with the flexibility to adjust to subsequent changes in the estate tax law and/or the clients’ wealth.

Mary has extensive experience representing fiduciaries (executors, administrators, and trustees), and beneficiaries of estates and trusts. With the assistance of experienced paralegals, Mary guides even complex estates through the estate administration process in an efficient and timely manner.

Recent Matters

Counseled clients who appointed agents under powers of attorney and advance directives for health care as to their fiduciary responsibilities and the limits of their authority

Provided “family consultations” to assist the clients with informing interested parties about his or her responsibilities and the limits of the law

Represented clients in the Delaware Court of Chancery in proceedings for the establishment, maintenance, accounting and defense of guardianships

Represented clients in proceedings for the creation of special needs trusts to protect litigation and settlement awards payable to clients with disabilities

Assisted clients in the reformation of decedents’ wills and trusts to protect inheritances payable to beneficiaries with special needs as well as maintain the beneficiaries’ eligibility to receive needs-based governmental benefits

Professional Affiliations

Delaware Uniform Power of Attorney Act Task Force, 2009-2010
Delaware State Bar Association, Committee on the Law and the Elderly, Secretary, 1997-98
Delaware State Bar Association, Estates and Trusts Section, Chair, 1994-95
Delaware State Bar Association, Women and the Law Section, Chair, 1989-90
American Bar Association
Delaware Pro Bono Inn of Court
Delaware Attorney for the Special Needs Alliance
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Community Affiliations

Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, Board of Directors
St. Thomas More Society, Executive Committee, President 2003-2004
Delaware Care Plan, Inc., Board of Directors, Secretary
Children’s Beach House, Board of Directors
Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council, Inc., Board of Directors, President's Advisory Board, Executive Committee, Chair, Northern Resource Center Task Force
Delaware Community Foundation, Professional Advisory Committee
Delaware Community Foundation, Fund For Women, Founder, Advisory Board, Grants Committee Co-Chair, 2004-2005
Ursuline Academy, Advancement Committee
Forum of Executive Women
International Women’s Forum
Waggie's by Maggie and Friends Advisory Board

Events

Practice areas

Honors

Best Lawyers®, 2008-2015

Delaware Today®, "Top Lawyers in Delaware" in Tax, Estates and Elder Law, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008-2012

Delaware Volunteer Legal Services Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2009

2006 DuPont Women Lawyers’ Network, Themis Award, Recipient

Admissions

Delaware, 1985

Pennsylvania, 1985

United States District Court, District of Delaware

U.S. Tax Court

Education

Temple University Graduate School, LL.M., 1988

Widener University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1984

Saint Mary's College for Women, B.A.,1968