Mary M. Culley

Attorney in Wilmington, DE

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

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


Best Lawyers®, 2008-2014

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

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Areas of Law

  • Delaware Advantage Trusts
  • Elder Law and Disability Planning
  • Healthcare Industry Team
  • Personal Tax Advice and Planning
  • Tax, Estates and Business Practice
  • Trusts and Estates


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Experience & Credentials



Admission Details

Admitted in 1985, Delaware
1985, Pennsylvania
United States District Court, District of Delaware
U.S. Tax Court

Law School Attended

Widener University School of Law
Class of 1984
cum laude

Temple University Graduate School
Class of 1988

University Attended

Saint Mary's College for Women
Class of 1968

Birth Information

Born in 1946
Chicago, Illinois, December 12, 1946

Contact Information






Send email to Mary M. Culley

Office Information
Mary M. Culley
 500 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1500,
Wilmington, DE 19801-1494


Morris James LLP (Wilmington, Delaware)

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