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 Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS chapter 5 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.
Birth Certificates/Death Certificates
Birth Certificates/Death Certificates: County Clerk's Office
Circuit Court of Cook County
Information about court organization, court locations, judge information, court holidays and the trial process can be found at the Circuit Court website.
Circuit Court Rules and Orders
Rules and General Orders of the Circuit Court of Cook County, which govern the structure and processes of the Circuit Court; and selected General Administrative Rules and Orders of the court, which are issued by the Chief Judge.
City of Chicago- Department of Aging
City of Chicago Services for the Elderly and/or Disabled
Clerk of Circuit Court Self Represented (Pro Se) Resources
The Self Help Center offers access to information and public resources with a special focus on people representing themselves (Self Represented or Pro Se litigants).
Cook County Clerk's Recordings Division
(For ALL property deed inquiries) Location: 118 North Clark Street, Room 120. Public Information Number: (312) 603-5050.
Cook County Treasurer
For Funds Deposited per Court Order in Probate Case, Inheritance Tax, Refunds - Contact Maria Pappas (312) 443-5100
Finding an Attorney
A guide to assist qualified customers in finding free or low cost legal assistance in Cook County.
Glossary of Legal Terms
Guardianship and Advocacy Commission
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. Location: 160 N. LaSalle St., Suite S-500, Chicago, IL 60601. Phone: (312) 793-5900.
Illinois Code of Civil Procedure
CIVIL PROCEDURE (735 ILCS 5/) Code of Civil Procedure.
Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
For inquiries about banks and financial institutions - General Information: (312) 814-2000.
Illinois Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS 5/1-1 et. seq.
The Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission provides the Illinois Probate Act of 1975.
Illinois Supreme Court Rules
Illinois Supreme Court's list of Illinois Supreme Court Rules
Municipality Fees (705 ILCS 105/27.1b)
Office of the County Clerk Vital Records
Location: 118 North Clark Street - Room 120. General Information: (312) 603-7790.
Offices of Public Guardian of Cook County
(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). Location: 69 West Washington St., Room 1800, Chicago, IL 60602. Phone: (312) 603-0800
State of Illinois Department of Aging
State of Illinois for the Eldery and/or Disabled. Contact: (800)252-8966 (inside Illinois). Illinois Elder Abuse 24 Hour Protective Services Hotline: 1-866-800-1409 or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).
State of Illinois Treasurer’s Office - Unclaimed Property Page
For inquiries regarding unclaimed property.
Q: What is Guardianship?
A: 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).
Q: How does guardianship differ from adoptions?
A: 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.
Q: How does someone become a guardian?
A: 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
Q: Can I file an order of protection in the Probate Division?
A: Yes, if the order being sought is in conjunction with a minor or disabled case.
Q: How much does it cost to file a will?
A: There is no fee for filing a will.
View All Probate Division Frequently Asked Questions
In obtaining guardianship of the person of a disabled, you will do the following,
The following provides information on how to obtain guardianship of a minor.
Locations where you may receive assistance completing probate division forms.