Letter to the Editor: Wills’ incumbent explains modernization

Over the course of the last few weeks, it has pained me to see untrue claims made about the office of the register of wills from my opponent.

In the office of the register of wills it is necessary to process large amounts of paperwork. Over the last four years, the office has worked with Kent County Levy Court to have these documents digitized. For much of that time, we have been down one position for personnel reasons. It has been discussed multiple times over eight years to hire additional employees; however, due to hiring freezes those employees were not authorized.

I am proud to report that Kent County Levy Court did authorize a position in the current fiscal year 2021 budget to hire one contract position, the sole purpose being to scan documents. Significant progress has been made in beginning this important project. In the fiscal year 2022 budget, it is my intention to ask for two positions. These will be dedicated to finishing this important project and start the process of accepting wills for safekeeping prior to death, updating the database with current information on all estates and preparing all closed files for transfer to the Delaware Public Archives. I look forward to working with Kent County Levy Court to consider including this in an upcoming budget request. While my opponent argues otherwise, it is important to note that no register of wills office in Delaware is completely paperless.

It has been my distinct pleasure to hold the office of register of wills. I have remained committed to serving the citizens of Kent County to the best of my ability. This includes living up to my priorities when I ran in 2016, including “to work with the wills office team in continuing the modernization of the office and records.”

Harold Brode
Kent County Register of Wills