Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Probate Division


Guardianship involves the appointment by a court of a legally responsible individual or agency on behalf of a person who is not able to independently manage his or her affairs due to a mental or physical disability or minor status (person under the age of 18).
With adoption, birth parents give up all rights and responsibilities for the child. With guardianship, parents keep some of these rights and responsibilities. For instance, with a guardianship, parents can visit the child or challenge the guardian's power and they can get custody back by going to court. Also, if able, the parents must contribute money to support the child. The guardian can seek this support in Child Support Court.
A petition for guardianship (with the appropriate filing fee) must be filed in the Clerk's Office. Once guardianship papers (the petition) are filed with the court, the process takes about six (6) to ten (10) weeks.  This time is used to let the parents (or interested party) become aware of all the proceedings.  If the parents do not need to be given notice, it only takes about six (6) to eight (8) weeks.  If they have to be informed by mail or by publication (in a newspaper), it takes six (6) to ten (10) weeks. Please note that the court will also do a background check and an abuse and neglect check) on the prospective guardian(s) and this may take between four (4) to six (6) weeks to complete. The Judge reviews the Petition and the background check that has been conducted on all potential guardians. Finally, the Judge will make the determination of who will be appointed guardian of a minor.

 For further information and assistance contact The Office of the Chief Judge -Chicago Volunteer Legal Services - Guardianship Assistance Desk for Minors at the following address and telephone number:
69 W. Washington, Room 1020
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 603-0135
Yes, if the order being sought is in conjunction with a minor or disabled case.
There is no fee for filing a will.
From our website’s form library or by coming to visit us at:
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County
Probate Division, (Counter 7a)
Room 1202
Richard J. Daley Center
50 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
The Probate Division is open between the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm
No. Under the Illinois Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS chapter 5 et. seq. a will must be filed in the county where the decedent resided at the time of death.
You my request a certified copy of a will that was filed with the Probate Division by writing us or visiting our offices at:
 
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County

Probate Division

Room 1202

50 West Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
 
The Probate Division’s hours of operation are 8:30am to 4:30pm.  To expedite this request, it would be helpful to provide either the Probate case number or the year the decedent passed away (if this information is available).  The fees associated with copying the will are as follows:

$2.00 for the first page and .50cents per page up to be page 19 and then .25 cents per page for pages 20 on up.

There is also a $4.00 certification fee. If making this request by mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope, otherwise a fee for postage will be charged.

As the Clerk’s Office is the Keeper of the Records and must remain neutral, we are prohibited from giving legal advice.  However, we maintain a listing of civil legal services organizations that offer free or low cost legal services to individuals. This listing is available upon request at our counter in Room 1202. Additionally, for assistance with completing guardianship papers for minors, you may visit the Guardianship Assistance Desk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  Their offices are located at 69 W. Washington, Suite 1020, (312) 603-0135. 

In addition, there is a Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL) Help Desk that is located in Room 1202 of the Daley Center for assistance with completing Pro Se PERSON ONLY ADULT DISABLED GUARDIANSHIPS.  Please check with our Public Information Counter for the most current listing of days and hours of service for the CDEL Desk. There are law students available to assist you with completing “ person only” forms for adult guardianships in disabled cases. You may also contact your local bar organizations to get referrals for private attorneys who specialize in whatever area of law you require.  Those numbers may be found in the local telephone directory
.

Listed below are passport fees set by the Department of State and effective January 26, 2011:

For additional information, please go to the Department of State website, travel.state.gov.

ROUTINE SERVICE (Form DS-11)

Receipt Within 6 Weeks----These Fees are Non-Refundable

AGE Passport Fee Execution Fee Total Fee
Age 16 and Over $110 >$25 $135
Under Age 16 $80 $25 $105
 

ROUTINE SERVICE (Form DS-82)- PASSPORT RENEWAL

Receipt Within 6 Weeks-------This Fee is Non-Refundable

PASSPORT RENEWAL BY MAIL (Customer Submits) Total Fee
Renew by Mail if All of the Following are True
Your Most Recent U.S. Passport:
  • Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application;
  • Was issued when you were age 16 or older;
  • Was issued within the last 15 years; and
  • Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change with original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or the government-issued document evidencing your legal name change.
$110
 

If any of the above statements do not apply to you, you must Apply in Person .

  • All minors age 15 and under who have or have not had a passport in the past must apply in person using form DS-11.
  • You may mail in your renewal application yourself - You do not need to make an appointment at an acceptance facility!
  • If you have or ever had a passport book and you are eligible to use Form DS-82, you may apply for a passport card as a renewal by mail - even if it is your first passport card!  Learn more about the U.S. passport card.
  • You can renew your passport even if it has not expired.
  • If your most recent U.S. passport has been mutilated, altered, or damaged, you cannot apply by mail - you must Apply in Person.
  • Applicants will receive their old passport back in the mail.  It may be sent separately from the new passport.
  • If you are behind in child support payments, you may not be able to get a passport (See Child Support).
  • You may request a larger passport book with 52 pages, at no additional cost, by checking the '52 page' box at the top of your passport application.
Submit a U.S. Passport Application by Mail
  1. Fill Out Form DS-82: Application For A U.S. Passport by Mail
  2. Submit your most recent U.S. passport book and/or card
  3. Submit a certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order if your name has changed
  4. Pay the Applicable Fee
  5. Provide One Passport Photo
  6. Mail application
 

EXPEDITED SERVICE (Form DS-11 or DS-82)

Add $60 Per Application and 2-Way Overnight Delivery
Expedite fee DOES NOT include overnight delivery.
Customer must arrange for overnight delivery to ensure receipt within 2-3 weeks.
 

If international departure in less than 2 weeks, or passport is needed for foreign visas, application at a Regional Passport Agency may be advised.  Appointment is required. Visit www.travel.state.gov for more information.

Unfortunately, at this time, we are not equipped to accept your credit cards for payment in the Probate Division.  Currently, we accept the following methods of payment: Personal Check, Company Check, or Money Order.  This check should be made out to: “Passport Services”.   If paying by check, the address on the check must match the address on your identification.   Check or cash may pay for the $25 execution fee.  If using a check to pay for the execution fee, the check should be made out to “Clerk of The Circuit Court of Cook County.”  As of 2/1/04, passport photos are available at the Clerk’s Office in Room 1202 for a cost of $10.00 per two photos.