Online Cook County Probate Court Records
I occasionally receive phone calls from probate estate beneficiaries who want to know about probate court proceedings for an estate. They want to know basic information such as the documents that have been filed, the court orders entered or when the next probate court hearing is scheduled. Many county courts now have such information available online for the public.
For example, the website for the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County has a Probate Case Search. You can search for probate estate information either by: (1) Estate, Claimant, Minor or Representative’s Name; (2) Case Number; or (3) Filing Date. You may then click on the case number to reveal filings and orders by activity date, as well as the identity of the representative, attorney and claimants.
Be aware that occasionally entries may be wrong or inaccurate. I have seen incorrect attorney and representative identification, so if something seems out of place, it may be.
The information provided is in summary form, but copies of the actual probate court documents are not available online. To access and copy Cook County probate court documents, you must go to the Daley Center (12th Floor). Recent estates are generally easy to access (unless the file is in a courtroom), but older estate documents need to be ordered from archives, which can take awhile.
If you have a specific question about a document you find in a file or about the status of a case, don’t expect the county clerk’s office to answer specific questions about an estate. They will tell you that they can’t give legal advice. If there’s an active probate case in which you have an interest (as an heir or beneficiary) then you should contact the estate’s representative or their attorney, or hire your own attorney to advise and represent you.
Oddly enough, once in a while our office will field a call from someone who is trying to reach the Cook County Probate Clerk’s office directly. That’s not us. The Cook County Clerk probate division office phone number for general information is (312) 603-6441.
Also available online for Cook County:
- Wills Search showing limited information about Wills that have been filed. To view or copy a Will, you must go to the Daley Center (12th Floor).
- Probate Claim Call schedule showing those claims that will be heard by the court in the upcoming month (under the Online Case Info tab).
- Probate Court Forms Search showing some, but certainly not all, common forms used in the Probate Division (including a fee schedule).
- Electronic Full Case Docket Search showing summary information about cases searchable for the Chancery, Civil, Law and Domestic Relations divisions.
As for the collar counties:
- Lake County recently introduced its own Public Access System for court records, which includes the probate division, but does not appear to include a Wills search.
- DuPage County has a Public Information Case Search and a Court Forms Search.
- McHenry County has Probate Information and a Public Case View Search.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Gottlieb, LLC, represents independent and supervised executors and administrators for decedent’s probate estates in Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, DuPage County and McHenry County. Contact us by e-mail or call us at (847) 991-2250 to discuss your probate matter.