Governor Pat Quinn recently appointed Louise Cook of Ozark as public administrator and public Guardian of Johnson County. Upon confirmation by the State Senate she will assume her duties.
Cook replaces long serving guardian/administrator William Elliott of Vienna.
The position is unpaid, and the appointment expires December 7, 2015.
Public administrators handle probate of estates in Illinois when a person dies without a will and there are no family members to probate the estate.
As public administrator, Cook may take such measures as she deems proper to protect and secure the estate from waste, loss or embezzlement until letters of office on the estate are issued to the proper person.
When letters of office are issued to the public administrator, Cook will have the same powers and duties as other representatives of decendents’ estates.
The public administrator may be compensated through fees charged to the estate. The public administrator bears the expenses associated with the office.
Public guardians may be appointed by the court to serve as legal guardian for disabled adults who need a guardian and whose estate exceeds $25,000. The public guardian monitors the adult’s care and progress, and the public guardian handles the person’s estate while living.
Public guardians must be certified as a “National Certified Guardian” by the Center for Guardianship Certification within six months of appointment as public guardian. The cost of certification is considered an expense of the office. The Guardianship and Advocacy Commission provides professional training for public guardians.
The public guardian receives the fees collected by the office and bears the expenses of the office. Public guardians are entitled to all reasonable and appropriate compensation for services related to guardianship duties, but all fees must be approved by the court. Fees must be documented through billings so the court may review them.