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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/9-1: Who may act as an Administrator

In Chicago, the estate administrator is the individual who is appointed by an Illinois Probate Court judge to manage the activities related to winding up the estate of decedent and distributing his (or her) assets to the decedent’s heirs. Because of the tasks that an administrator is required to perform, Illinois law has requirements as to who can serve as an estate administrator. If a loved one passed away and you are interested in serving as the administrator of his estate, contact an experienced Chicago estate administration lawyer who understands the qualifications for being an estate administrator as well as the duties and responsibilities of the job.

Who may act as an Administrator

According to the Illinois Probate Act, in order to act as an administrator of an estate, you must be at least 18 years old and a United States resident. In addition, you must not suffer from a mental incapacity or have been determined to suffer from a disability as defined in the Probate Act. If you have been convicted of a felony you may not act as an administrator.

If you would like to serve as administrator of a loved one’s estate, you must file a petition with the Probate Court. Only after your petition is approves and letters issued by the court will you have the legal authority to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate. To learn more about the process for petitioning the Probate Court to be appointed an administrator, contact an estate administration lawyer in Chicago.

Factors That Would Disqualify

After you have been appointed by the Probate Court to act as administrator, the court has the right to revoke your authority to act as administrator if your circumstances change, or if you do something that would disqualify you from being an administrator, including:

  • Accepting the estate administrator position under false pretenses. If it comes to the attention of the Probate Court that you became the estate administrator in order to deceive or commit other bad acts, the court will revoke your authority.
  • Mental incapacity. If you become mentally incapacitated after being appointed executor such that you no longer have the ability to perform your duties as executor, the court will revoke your authority.
  • Committing a felony. Being convicted of a felony would make you ineligible to act as an administrator.
  • Mismanagement or wasting of estate assets. As administrator you have the fiduciary duty to manage estate assets with utmost skill and care. Failure to do so would make you ineligible to be the administrator.
  • Failing to follow order of the court. An administrator is overseen by the Probate Court and is required to follow orders of the court.
  • Incapable of fulfilling the responsibilities. If the administrator is not longer capable of fulfilling his duties as the administrator, the court will revoke his authority.
  • No longer a resident of the United States. The administrator must be a resident of the United States throughout the estate administration process. If you move, you would no longer be eligible to serve.
  • Any other good cause for removal. The court has the discretion to remove an administrator for good cause.

As an experienced estate administrator serving Chicago will explain, any interested party such as a beneficiary or other fiduciary has the right to petition the court to remove an administrator.


An administrator also has the right to resign if he cannot continue to serve or no longer wishes to serve. For example, if the administrator experiences deteriorating health or has a family emergency, he may determine that he can no longer act as the administrator and choose to resign.

Related Statutory Provisions

  1. Petition to admit will or to issue letters: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-2
  2. Letters revoked when will is produced : Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-3
  3. Who may act as executor Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-13
  4. Petition to issue letters: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/9-4
Illinois Probate Act, Section 9-1- Who may act as Administrator

A person who has attained the age of 18 years, is a resident of the United States, is not of unsound mind, is not an adjudged person with a disability as defined in this Act and has not been convicted of a felony, is qualified to act as administrator.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

An estate administrator’s job is important. It is critical that the person who fills the role understands the qualifications as well as the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you are interested in being appointed as the administrator of an estate of a loved one, or if you have concerns about someone who wishes to become an administrator, discuss your concerns with an experienced Chicago estate administration attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have years of experience representing administrations, other fiduciaries, beneficiaries, and heirs in estate matters. We are here to help. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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