Ciro Poppiti, III, has been a dynamic Register of Wills, having first been elected in 2010. Under his leadership, the office launched an effort to audit more than $150 million in unaccounted assets, returning money to families and netting approximately $2.3 million in “found” money for New Castle County. In 2015, Ciro released the Delaware Estate Administration handbook, a how-to manual that unified statewide estate administration policy for the first time. For his efforts, the Delaware State Bar Association presented Ciro with the 2015 Outstanding Government Service Award, its highest award for government service.
In 2021, Ciro achieved a unique milestone by collecting $35 million dollars in revenue during his tenure. Ciro became the first Register of Wills in state history to do so.
Ciro was born and raised in the Cleland Heights neighborhood of Wilmington, the sixth child of Louise and Ciro Poppiti. He grew up in a big family, in a home that included his paternal grandmother, Lydia Poppiti, a first-generation American. As a young immigrant, Lydia taught herself to read and write English and later taught a young Ciro to take pride in his heritage, honor his family, and respect the elders of his community.
Ciro attended Princeton University and returned to Delaware to join his family’s legal practice, receiving his law degree from Delaware Law School (Widener University).
Ciro practices law as a Major with the Delaware Army National Guard. Since the fall of 2017, Ciro has been the lead attorney for the legal defense of Soldiers statewide. Ciro authored a 250-page tome Defense Counsel Deskbook (2019-20), for which he received the U.S. Army Commendation Medal. He volunteered for active duty during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2007, Ciro received the Outstanding Young Wilmingtonian Award from Mayor James Baker for outstanding community service, especially his work with the Italian-American community as the founding chairman of the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture.
Ciro has been regularly appointed by the Court of Chancery as a master pro hac vice, ruling from the bench on over 150 matters. His well-regarded decision in The Estate of Leonard Rich (2013) established a three-factor paradigm for determining the appropriateness of deductions in an estate accounting.
Ciro teaches as an adjunct professor at Wilmington University. He writes frequently and has contributed regular columns to several local publications over the years.
Ciro lives in Wilmington with his wife, Laura, and two children, Jake and Louise.