The Public Administrator of Cook County is Hon. Louis G. Apostol, JD, CAE.
The Office of the Public Administrator of Cook County administers estates of deceased Cook County residents who are without available family to administer the estate or who did not leave a will designating a person to serve as executor of the estate.
The mission of the Public Administrator is to efficiently and securely administrate the estate of decedents as required by law.
Mandates and Key Activities
The Probate Act at 755 ILCS 5/13-4 sets forth the duties of the Public Administrator.
This office operates entirely from funds it generates through its statutory mandate and not from tax revenue. Funds are collected in three distinct fashions in the course of administrating the estates of decedents who leave no will, or whose named executor is incapable of serving, unavailable or disqualified.
Pursuant to Section 5/2-1(h) of the Probate Act, if there are no known heirs of a decedent, their real estate escheats to the County in which it is located. The personal estate physically located in Illinois (Cook County), and the personal estate physically located or held outside Illinois which is the subject of ancillary or separate administration of an estate being administered in Illinois (Cook County), escheats to the County in which the decedent was a resident or, if the decedent was not an Illinois resident, to Cook County. All other personal property of the decedent, wherever situated, or the proceeds thereof, escheats to the State of Illinois and are delivered to the State Treasurer pursuant to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.
Pursuant to Section 24-20 of the Probate Act, when the receipt of a ward, distributee of an estate, or a claimant cannot be obtained for money or any other estate asset, the Public Administrator, by leave of court, may sell the asset and deposit the net proceeds together with any other money of the estate belonging to the distributee, with the Cook County Treasurer. The Public Administrator must notify the Cook County Treasurer in writing of the identity of the individuals entitled to it and, if known, their last known address. The Cook County Treasurer must then give the Public Administrator a receipt that must be filed in court. The person entitled to the money deposited may obtain it, plus interest, upon application to the court subject to satisfactory proof of right.
Revenue is realized for the benefit of the County by the award of Administrator’s fees and interest which are earned thereon by the Public Administrator as payment for our administration of the estates to which we are appointed by the Court pursuant to the Probate Act. These sums are turned over to the Cook County Comptroller directly by this office. Indeed, the revenues collected by this office are earned by the discharge of our statutory duties through these processes and turned over to the Treasurer and Comptroller as may be the case called for by law. The Public Administrator operating budget, in turn, is returned to the office from these assets and earned fees.