Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court
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Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
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Clerk of Circuit Court Self Represented (Pro Se) Resources

Wills, Probate, Estates and Guardianship

Wills, Probate, Estates and Guardianships – Introduction

Probate Division

Self Help Resources

Additional Resources

Cases involving wills, estates, probate and Guardianship are handled by the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Probate Division. This Division’s page includes Frequently Asked Questions, Forms, Procedures and Reference Materials. Customers can also get United States Passports from this Division. Illinois Legal Aid has a wealth of material regarding many of these areas on its Senior Citizen’s page and Life Planning page. The Illinois State Bar Association also has the following helpful links: Estate Planning, Living Wills and Health Care Directives, and Living Trusts. The Chicago Bar Association offers the following pamphlets:

Additional information is also provided by the American Bar Association at its Wills and Estate Planning page.

The Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission is an executive state agency created to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities. By providing legal representation, investigating complaints of rights violations and providing state guardianship for Illinois' population with disabilities, the Commission has given voice to those who have previously gone unheard.

Commissioners | Guardianship FAQ
Statutory Acts | Press Releases & Meeting Dates
Legal Forms You Can Use | Online Intake Form
Important Legal User Information - Please Read!

Probate Division

The Probate Division hears actions concerning the probate and contest of wills and testamentary instruments, claims against an estate arising in contract, tort or otherwise, actions and proceedings arising under the Illinois Power of Attorney Act (755 ILCS 45/101 et seq.) and the administration of estates of decedents, disabled persons, minors and wards and petitions pursuant to the Illinois Insurance Code. The Probate Division also hears actions and proceedings concerning contracts to make a will, construction of wills, the appointment of testamentary trustees during the period of administration, and the appointment of receivers pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 776.

The Probate Division hears proceedings regarding:

Claims against Estates

Arising in a contract, tort or otherwise

Guardianship of Estate

One who has legal authority and duty to care for a person who has not reached full legal age; a child or juvenile. Also termed infant.

Guardianship of Minor Person

One who has the legal authority and duty to care for another person’s property as a result of that person’s infancy, incapacity or disability.

Guardianship of Minor’s Estate

One who has the legal authority and duty to care for another person’s property who has not reached full legal age; a child of juvenile. Also termed infant.

Guardianship of Person

One who has the legal authority and duty to care for another person because of the other’s infancy, incapacity or disability.


One who has died without a valid Will

Settlement of Cause of Action in a Minor’s Estate

Authority to accept a settlement on behalf of a minor in tort claim.

Structured Settlement Sale Approval

The authority to permit Insurance companies to make payments on a structured settlement claim for personal injury to anyone other then the beneficiary of the settlement or by the beneficiary of such a structured settlement to assign the payment of the settlement to another.


Having left a Will at death

Will Contest

The litigation of a Will’s validity

Self Help Resources

Illinois Code of Civil Procedure

Illinois Supreme Court Rules

Circuit Court Rules and Orders

Circuit Court of Cook County – An Informational Guide

Clerk of the Circuit Court Probate Division Forms

Clerk of the Circuit Court General Forms

Finding an Attorney

Clerk’s Office Probate Division Brochure

Illinois Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS 5/1-1 et. seq.

Circuit Court General Order 1.2(2.1)(e)

Passport Information

City of Chicago Services:
For the Elderly and/or Disabled - City of Chicago- Department of Aging

Birth Certificates/Death Certificates:
City of Chicago - Department of Public Health

Birth Certificates, Chicago only (last 3 months)
Concourse Level, Room CL-114 of the Daley Center 312-744-3798

Death Certificates, 1993 to date,
Concourse Level, Room CL-114 of the Daley Center 312-744-3798

For Cook County Services Regarding Probate (Deeds/ Property Ownership, Public Guardians, Public Administrator, Death Certificates)

Office of the County Clerk
Vital Records-
Death Certificates (County Deaths 1871- July 2004)
Death Certificates (City Deaths 1871-April 2003)
118 North Clark Street
Lower Level
General Information: 312-603-7790

Cook County Recorder of Deeds
(For ALL property deed inquiries)
118 North Clark Street
Room 120
Public Information Number: 312-603-5050

Cook County Public Administrator:
Michael I. Bender
69 W. Washington St., Room 2640
Chicago, IL 60602
(When the decedent’s estate has no administrator)

Offices of Public Guardian of Cook County
Robert F. Harris
69 West Washington St., Room 1800
Chicago, IL 60602
(For cases where no one is available to be guardian of the disabled person; an agency is required to be guardian of the person and/or estate; and there are assets GREATER THAN $25,000).

Another Public Guardian Office is located at:
2245 W. Ogden, 4th Fl
Chicago, IL 60612

Cook County Treasurer (Funds Deposited per Court Order in Probate Case, Inheritance Tax, Refunds)
Maria Pappas

State of Illinois Services for the Elderly and/or Disabled
Department on Aging
Information: 1-800-252-8966 (inside Illinois)

Guardianship and Advocacy Commission
160 N. LaSalle St., Suite S-500
Chicago, IL 60601
(For cases where no one is available to be guardian of the disabled person; an agency is required to be guardian of the person and/or estate; and there are assets of LESS THAN $25,000).

Department of Financial Institutions
General Information: 312-814-2000
(For inquiries about banks and financial institutions).

Illinois State Treasurer’s I-CASH Program
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs
Safeguarding $2.8 billion in unclaimed property belonging to Illinoisans, including estates, bank accounts and stocks.
Search www.IllinoisTreasurer.gov/ICASH and claim today or call 866-458-7327.


Minor Guardianship Forms (Person Only):
Minor Guardianship Assistance Help Desk of the Circuit Court of Cook County
69 W. Washington, Suite 1020

Adult Disabled Guardianship Forms (Person Only):
Loyola University School of Law Adult Disabled Pro Se Help Desk sponsored by the Loyola University School of Law Elder Law Initiative
Probate Division- Room 1202 of the Richard J. Daley Center
Please check with our Claims Counter (Counter 7a) and our Public Information Counter (Counter 8a) for current days and hours.

Civil Legal Services Organizations to Contact for Legal Advice and Assistance:

For Adult Disabled Guardianships:
Guardianship Services Associates (a private, non-profit social services agency)
41A South Blvd.
Oak Park, IL

For Minor Guardianship Questions:
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS)
100 North LaSalle Street
Suite 900
Chicago, IL

For Passports:

CHICAGO Passport Agency
Kluczynski Federal Building
230 S. Dearborn Street
18th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Hours: 9:00am-4:00pm CST, excluding federal holidays
Automated Appointment Number: 312-341-6020

Additional Resources

Illinois Supreme Court

Clerk of the Circuit Court -- Court Forms

Self Help Resources in and Around the Daley Center

Finding an Attorney


ACCESSIBILITY: The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County provides reasonable accommodations to customers with disabilities who need access to the Clerk’s Office services and programs. If you have a disability that you believe may be affecting your access to our services and programs, please contact our ADA Coordinator Patience Keys, at 50 W. Washington Room 1003, Chicago, IL 60602, telephone number 312. 603.4048 or send email to prkeys@cookcountycourt.com. For GENERAL INFORMATION, please call 312-603-5030.

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