(15 ILCS 305/5.15)
Deposit of wills.
(a) Definitions. As used in this Section:
"Depositor" means an attorney licensed or formerly licensed to practice in the State of Illinois, the attorney's representative, the guardian for the attorney, or the personal representative of the attorney's decedent's estate.
"Testator" means a person who executed a will, other than as a witness or official to whom acknowledgment of signing was given.
"Will" refers to an original:
(3) will and one or more codicils;
(4) trust; or
(5) trust and one or more trust amendments.
(b) Deposit of wills. A depositor may deposit a will with the Secretary of State if the depositor certifies in writing to the Secretary of State that the depositor is unable to locate the testator after a diligent search. The certification shall be on a form to be provided by the Secretary. This Section applies whether it is known or unknown whether the testator is living.
(c) Assumptions. The Secretary of State may assume, without inquiring into the facts, that the depositor has first made a diligent search for the testator.
(d) Fee. The Secretary of State shall collect a fee of $15 for each deposit of a will. The Secretary of State shall not collect a separate fee for additional documents concurrently deposited in relation to a single testator or for a single joint will prepared for a husband and wife.
(e) Duty of Secretary of State upon receipt. Upon receipt of a will under this Section, the Secretary of State shall:
(1) provide the depositor with a receipt for the
will, which receipt shall contain the information designated on the envelope in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection;
(2) place the will or wills deposited concurrently in
relation to a single testator in one envelope and seal the envelope securely in the presence of the depositor or depositor's agent;
(3) designate on the envelope:
(A) the date of deposit;
(B) the name, address, and telephone number of
(C) the name and last known address of the
testator as provided by the depositor;
(D) at the depositor's option, any and all of the
(i) alternate names by which the testator
(ii) the testator's birth date, and
(iii) the last 4 digits of the testator's
Social Security number; and
(E) with respect to each document enclosed:
(i) a short description of the document,
including, if shown, its date of execution; and
(ii) the number of pages in the document; and
(4) index the will alphabetically by the name of the
testator, and by the alternate names set forth by which the testator may have been known.
(f) Status as a public record. An envelope and will deposited under this Section are not public records. The index created under item (4) of subsection (e) is a public record.
(g) Duty of Secretary of State during testator's lifetime. During the testator's lifetime, the Secretary of State shall:
(1) keep the envelope containing the will sealed; and
(2) deliver the envelope to:
(i) the testator;
(ii) a person authorized, in writing signed by
the testator and notarized, to receive the envelope; or
(iii) a person, entity, court, or government
agency authorized to receive the envelope pursuant to an order entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(h) Duty of Secretary of State upon notification of death of testator. If the Secretary of State has custody of the will after the death of the testator and is notified of the death of the testator by means of a certified copy of the testator's death certificate or by a certified copy of an order of court determining the testator to be deceased, upon receipt of payment of a retrieval fee in the amount of $10, the Secretary of State shall promptly deliver the sealed will envelope to the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the probate of the testator's will may occur as determined under Section 5-1 of the Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5/5-1).
(i) Duties of Secretary of State upon inquiry. Upon inquiry by a person identified in paragraph (2) of subsection (g), or upon inquiry of any person presenting a certified copy of the testator's death certificate or a certified copy of an order of a court determining the testator to be deceased, the Secretary of State shall inform the person whether the name of the relevant testator appears in the Secretary of State's index of wills. For the purposes of this subsection, the Secretary of State need not be certain that the testator is the one being inquired about, but may release that information if it is possible that the testator is that one.
(j) Destruction of will. The Secretary of State may destroy a will deposited under this Section if:
(1) the Secretary of State has not received notice
of the death of the testator; and
(2) at least 100 years have passed since the date the
(k) All fees received by the Secretary of State under this Section must be deposited into the Secretary of State Special Services Fund.
(Source: P.A. 96-137, eff. 1-1-10.)