Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0730
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Full Text of SB0730  102nd General Assembly

SB0730eng 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
SB0730 EngrossedLRB102 04557 LNS 14576 b

1    AN ACT concerning civil law.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4
Article 1. General Provisions

 
5    Section 1-1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
6Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act.
 
7    Section 1-5. Purpose. The purpose of this Act is to
8provide for: (1) the valid execution, attestation,
9self-proving, and probate of electronic wills, paper copies of
10electronic wills, and wills attested to by witnesses through
11audio-video communication; and (2) the valid execution,
12attestation, and witnessing of documents, other than wills,
13through audio-video communication.
 
14    Section 1-10. Applicability. Any document executed under
15this Act is executed in this State; however, executing a
16document under this Act does not automatically confer
17jurisdiction in the courts of this State.
 
18    Section 1-15. Relation to Probate Act of 1975 and common
19law. All electronic wills, paper copies of electronic wills,
20and wills attested to under this Act are subject to all

 

 

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1requirements of the Probate Act of 1975 and the common law, but
2to the extent the common law or any provision of the Probate
3Act of 1975 conflicts with or is modified by this Act, the
4requirements of this Act control.
 
5    Section 1-20. Definitions. As used in this Act:
6    "Audio-video communication" means communication by which a
7person can hear, see, and communicate with another person in
8real time using electronic means. A person's visual or hearing
9impairment does not prohibit or limit that person's use of
10audio-visual communication under this Act.
11    "Electronic record" means a record generated,
12communicated, received, or stored by electronic means for use
13in an information system or for transmission from one
14information system to another.
15    "Electronic signature" means a signature in electronic
16form that uses a security procedure under the Electronic
17Commerce Security Act and attached to or logically associated
18with an electronic record.
19    "Electronic will" is a will that is created and maintained
20as a tamper-evident electronic record.
21    "Identity proofing" means a process or service through
22which a third person affirms the identity of an individual
23through a review of personal information from public and
24proprietary data sources, including: (1) by means of dynamic
25knowledge-based authentication, including a review of personal

 

 

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1information from public or proprietary data sources; or (2) by
2means of an analysis of biometric data, including, but not
3limited to, facial recognition, voiceprint analysis, or
4fingerprint analysis.
5    "Paper copy" means a tamper-evident electronic record that
6is printed and contains the following: (1) the text of the
7document; (2) the electronic signature of the signer; (3) a
8readable copy of the evidence of any changes displayed in the
9electronic record; and (4) any exhibits, attestation clauses,
10affidavits, or other items forming a part of the document or
11contained in the electronic record.
12    "Paper document" means a document that is written or
13printed on paper.
14    "Physical presence" means being in the same physical
15location as another person and close enough to see and know the
16other person is signing a document.
17    "Presence" includes: (1) physical presence; or (2) being
18in a different physical location from another person, but
19able, using audio-video communication, to know the person is
20signing a document in real time.
21    "Remote witness" means a person attesting to a document
22who is in the presence of the signer or testator through
23audio-video communication.
24    "Rule of law" means any statute, ordinance, common law
25rule, court decision, or other rule of law enacted,
26established, or promulgated by this State or any agency,

 

 

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1commission, department, court, other authority, or political
2subdivision of this State.
3    "Signature" includes an electronic signature and an ink
4signature.
5    "Tamper-evident" means a feature of an electronic record
6by which any change to the electronic record is displayed.
 
7
Article 5. Electronic Wills

 
8    Section 5-5. Signing electronic wills.
9    (a) To be valid under this Act, an electronic will shall be
10executed by the testator or by some person in the testator's
11presence and at the testator's direction, and attested to in
12the testator's presence by 2 or more credible witnesses.
13    (b) The testator may sign the electronic will with the
14testator's electronic signature or may direct another person
15in the presence of the testator to sign the electronic will. A
16person signing at the testator's direction shall not be an
17attesting witness, a person receiving a beneficial legacy or
18interest under the will, or the spouse or child of a person
19receiving a beneficial legacy or interest under the will.
20    (c) Each witness shall sign the electronic will with an
21electronic signature in the presence of the testator after
22seeing the testator sign, seeing the testator direct another
23person in the testator's presence to sign, or seeing the
24testator acknowledge the signature as the testator's act.

 

 

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1    (d) If the will is attested to by a remote witness, the
2requirements for an attestation by a remote witness under
3Section 15-10 also apply.
 
4    Section 5-10. Revocation.
5    (a) An electronic will may be revoked in the following
6ways:
7        (1) execution of a later will declaring the
8    revocation;
9        (2) execution of a later will to the extent that it is
10    inconsistent with the prior will; or
11        (3) execution of a written instrument by the testator
12    declaring the revocation.
13    (b) If there is evidence that a testator signed an
14electronic will and neither an electronic will nor a certified
15paper copy of the electronic will can be located after a
16testator's death, there is a presumption that the testator
17revoked the electronic will even if no instrument or later
18will revoking the electronic will can be located.
 
19    Section 5-15. Digital assets and electronic commerce.
20    (a) At any time during the administration of the estate
21without further notice or, if there is no grant of
22administration, upon such notice and in such a manner as the
23court directs, the court may issue an order under the Revised
24Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (2015) for a

 

 

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1custodian of an account held under a terms-of-service
2agreement to disclose digital assets for the purposes of
3obtaining an electronic will from a deceased user's account.
4If there is no grant of administration at the time the court
5issues the order, the court's order shall grant disclosure to
6the petitioner who is deemed a personal representative under
7the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act
8(2015).
9    (b) Except as specified in this Act, the Electronic
10Commerce Security Act does not apply to the execution or
11revocation of an electronic will.
 
12
Article 10. Certified Paper Copies

 
13    Section 10-5. Certified paper copy. Where a rule of law
14requires information to be presented or retained in its
15original form, or provides consequences for the information
16not being presented or retained in its original form, that
17rule of law is satisfied by a certified paper copy of the
18electronic record.
 
19    Section 10-10. Creation of a certified paper copy.
20    (a) A certified paper copy is a paper copy of an electronic
21record that has been certified by the person who converts the
22electronic record to a paper copy.
23    (b) The person certifying a paper copy shall state the

 

 

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1following:
2        (1) the date that the person prepared the paper copy;
3        (2) the name of the person who prepared the paper
4    copy;
5        (3) the date that the person who prepared the paper
6    copy came into possession of the electronic record;
7        (4) a description of how the person who prepared the
8    paper copy came into possession of the electronic record;
9        (5) confirmation that the paper copy is a complete and
10    correct copy of the electronic record; and
11        (6) confirmation that the electronic record is a
12    tamper-evident electronic record.
13    (c) The statements by a person who prepares a certified
14paper copy shall be made by:
15        (1) testimony before the court;
16        (2) a written statement certified under Section 1-109
17    of the Code of Civil Procedure attached to the paper copy;
18    or
19        (3) an affidavit attached to the paper copy.
20    (d) A certified paper copy of a tamper-evident electronic
21record, other than an electronic will, may be created any time
22after the signer signs the electronic record under the
23Electronic Commerce Security Act.
24    (e) A certified paper copy of an electronic will may be
25created any time after the testator signs the electronic will
26or directs another person in the testator's presence to sign

 

 

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1the electronic will.
 
2    Section 10-15. Witnessing a certified paper copy.
3    (a) A certified paper copy of an electronic record may be
4witnessed after it is prepared. The witness shall be in the
5signer's presence when the signer acknowledges the electronic
6signature as the signer's act.
7    (b) If an electronic will is not attested to by 2 or more
8credible witnesses, a certified paper copy of the electronic
9will may be attested to by witnesses in the testator's
10presence after the testator acknowledges the electronic
11signature as the testator's act.
 
12
Article 15. Remote Witnesses

 
13    Section 15-5. Remote witness for document other than a
14will.
15    (a) A person may witness any document, other than a will,
16using audio-video communication between the individual signing
17the document and the witness. The signatures may be contained
18in a single document or the document may be signed in
19counterparts. The counterparts of a document may be electronic
20records, paper copies, or any combination thereof.
21    (b) During the audio-video communication:
22        (1) the witness shall determine the identity of the
23    signer;

 

 

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1        (2) the signer of the document shall sign the
2    document; if the document is an electronic record, it
3    shall be a tamper-evident electronic record; and
4        (3) the witness shall sign the document previously
5    signed or acknowledged by the signer, or if signed in
6    counterparts, a separate witness's signature page of the
7    document.
8    (c) If the witness is signing a document in counterparts,
9then the witness's signed signature page or a copy of the same
10shall be attached to the document within 10 business days of
11the signing and before the signer's death or incapacity. The
12document becomes effective when the witness's signed signature
13page or a copy of the same is attached to the document.
 
14    Section 15-10. Remote attestation for will.
15    (a) To be valid under this Act, a will attested to through
16audio-video communication shall designate this State as its
17place of execution, be signed by the testator or by some person
18at the testator's direction and in the testator's presence,
19and be attested to in the presence of the testator by 2 or more
20credible witnesses who are located in the United States at the
21time of the attestation.
22    (b) The will being attested to by audio-video
23communication may be an electronic will, a paper copy of an
24electronic will, or a paper document. An electronic will being
25attested to shall be a single document containing all the

 

 

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1signature pages, attestation clauses, and affidavits forming a
2part of the will. A will that is a paper copy of an electronic
3will or a paper document may have separate signature pages,
4attestation clauses, or affidavits that are electronic records
5or paper documents. Separate signature pages, attestation
6clauses, or affidavits may be distributed to the witness
7before the audio-video communication.
8    (c) The testator shall sign the will or direct a person in
9the testator's presence to sign. A person signing at the
10testator's direction shall not be an attesting witness, a
11person receiving a beneficial legacy or interest under the
12will, or the spouse or child of a person receiving a beneficial
13legacy or interest under the will.
14    (d) During an audio-video communication:
15        (1) the witness shall determine the testator's
16    identity;
17        (2) the testator shall sign the will, direct another
18    person in the testator's presence to sign the will, or
19    acknowledge the signature as the testator's act; and
20        (3) the witness shall attest to the will in the
21    testator's presence.
22    (e) If the will consists of separate signature pages,
23attestation clauses, or affidavits forming a part of the will,
24the testator or a person appointed by the testator shall
25attach the witness's signed signature page, attestation
26clause, or affidavit forming a part of the will or a copy of

 

 

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1the same to the paper document containing the testator's
2signature or a paper copy of the electronic will within 10
3business days of the attestation.
 
4    Section 15-15. Determining a signer's or testator's
5identity. A witness shall determine a signer's or testator's
6identity by one or more of the following methods:
7    (1) personal knowledge;
8    (2) a government-issued identification;
9    (3) another form of identification that includes a
10photograph of the holder; or
11    (4) identity proofing.
 
12
Article 20. Admission of Wills to Probate

 
13    Section 20-5. Electronic will. In addition to the
14requirements of Section 6-2 of the Probate Act of 1975, the
15petitioner shall state in the petition to have an electronic
16will admitted to probate that the electronic will is a
17tamper-evident electronic record and it has not been altered
18apart from the electronic signatures and other information
19that arises in the normal course of communication, storage,
20and display.
 
21    Section 20-10. Admission of paper copy of electronic will.
22Before being admitted to probate, a paper copy of an

 

 

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1electronic will shall be:
2    (1) certified under Section 10-10; or
3    (2) supported by sufficient evidence to overcome the
4presumption under subsection (b) of Section 5-10 that the
5testator revoked the electronic will.
 
6    Section 20-15. Admission of wills attested to by witnesses
7who are physically present. An electronic will or paper copy
8of an electronic will attested to by witnesses who are all in
9the testator's physical presence at the time of attestation
10shall be sufficiently proved under Section 6-4 of the Probate
11Act of 1975 to be admitted to probate.
 
12    Section 20-20. Admission of wills attested to by a remote
13witness.
14    (a) A will, other than a will signed under Section 95-20 of
15the Electronic Commerce Security Act, attested to by one or
16more remote witnesses is sufficiently proved to be admitted to
17probate when each of at least 2 of the attesting witnesses make
18the statements described in subsection (b), and if the
19testator appointed a person to attach any separate signature
20pages, attestation clauses, or affidavits forming a part of a
21paper copy of an electronic will or paper document, each
22appointed person, other than the testator, makes the
23statements described in subsection (d).
24    (b) Each attesting witness shall state that:

 

 

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1        (1) the attesting witness was present and saw the
2    testator or some person in the testator's presence and by
3    the testator's direction sign the will in the presence of
4    the witness or the testator acknowledged it to the witness
5    as the testator's act;
6        (2) the will was attested to by the witness in the
7    presence of the testator;
8        (3) the witness believed the testator to be of sound
9    mind and memory at the time of signing or acknowledging
10    the will; and
11        (4) if the attesting witness is a remote witness, the
12    method used to determine the testator's identity.
13    (c) The statements of an attesting witness under
14subsection (b) may be made by:
15        (1) testimony before the court;
16        (2) an attestation clause signed by the witness and
17    attached to the will within 10 business days of the
18    execution;
19        (3) an affidavit that is signed by the witness at the
20    time of attestation and is attached to the will within 10
21    business days; or
22        (4) an affidavit that is signed after the time of
23    attestation and is attached to an accurate copy of the
24    will.
25    (d) Any person appointed by the testator to attach to the
26will the witnesses' signed signature pages, attestation

 

 

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1clauses, or affidavits forming a part of the will or copies of
2the same shall state:
3        (1) that the signed signature pages, attestation
4    clauses, or affidavits forming a part of the will or
5    copies of the same were attached within 10 business days
6    of each witness's attestation;
7        (2) that the person attached the signed signature
8    pages, attestation clauses, or affidavits forming a part
9    of the will or copies of the same to the testator's
10    complete and correct will; and
11        (3) if the signed signature pages, attestation
12    clauses, or affidavits forming a part of the will were
13    signed as electronic records, the statements required to
14    certify the paper copies of the electronic records under
15    Section 10-10.
16    (e) The statements under subsection (d) by any person,
17other than the testator, attaching the attesting witnesses
18signature pages, attestation clauses, affidavits, or copies of
19the same may be made by:
20        (1) testimony before the court;
21        (2) a written statement certified under Section 1-109
22    of the Code of Civil Procedure that is signed and attached
23    to the will when attaching the signature pages,
24    attestation clauses, affidavits of the witnesses, or
25    copies of the same; or
26        (3) an affidavit signed at or after the time of

 

 

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1    attaching the signature pages, attestation clauses,
2    affidavits of the witnesses, or copies of the same and
3    attached to the will or an accurate copy of the will.
 
4    Section 20-25. Admission of a will signed under the
5Electronic Commerce Security Act. A will attested to by a
6remote witness under Section 95-20 of the Electronic Commerce
7Security Act is sufficiently proved to be admitted to probate
8when each of at least 2 attesting witnesses:
9    (1) sign an attestation clause or affidavit substantially
10complying with the statements required under subsection (a) of
11Section 6-4 of the Probate Act of 1975 within 48 hours of the
12act of witnessing, and the attestation clause, affidavit, or a
13copy of the same is attached to the will signed by the testator
14or an accurate copy of the will;
15    (2) sign an attestation clause or affidavit at or after
16the act of witnessing that is attached to the will or an
17accurate copy of the will stating the testator and remote
18witness to the will substantially complied with Section 95-20
19of the Electronic Commerce Security Act and the remote witness
20believed the testator to be of sound mind and memory at the
21time of the signing; or
22    (3) testify in court that the testator and remote witness
23substantially complied with Section 95-20 of the Electronic
24Commerce Security Act and that the remote witness believed the
25testator to be of sound mind and memory at the time of the

 

 

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1signing.
 
2    Section 20-30. Evidence of fraud, forgery, compulsion, or
3other improper conduct. Nothing in this Article prohibits any
4party from introducing evidence of fraud, forgery, compulsion,
5or other improper conduct that in the opinion of the court is
6deemed sufficient to invalidate the will when being admitted.
7The proponent may also introduce any other evidence competent
8to establish the validity of a will. If the proponent
9establishes the validity of the will by sufficient competent
10evidence, it shall be admitted to probate unless there is
11proof of fraud, forgery, compulsion, or other improper conduct
12that in the opinion of the court is deemed sufficient to
13invalidate the will.
 
14    Section 20-35. Formal proof of will with remote witness
15under Section 20-20. If a will has been admitted to probate
16under Section 20-20 before notice, any person entitled to
17notice under Section 6-10 of the Probate Act of 1975 may file a
18petition within 42 days after the effective date of the
19original order admitting the will to probate to require proof
20of the will, pursuant to this Section. The court shall set the
21matter for hearing upon such notice to interested persons as
22the court directs. At the hearing, the proponent shall
23establish the will by testimony of the relevant parties as
24provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of Section 10-10,

 

 

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1paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of Section 20-20, or paragraph
2(1) of subsection (e) of Section 20-20 or deposition of the
3relevant parties following the procedures in Section 6-5 of
4the Probate Act of 1975 or other evidence as provided in the
5Probate Act of 1975, but not as provided by paragraph (2) or
6(3) of subsection (c) of Section 10-10, paragraph (2) or (3) of
7subsection (c) of Section 20-20, or paragraph (2) or (3) of
8subsection (e) of Section 20-20, as if the will had not
9originally been admitted to probate. If the proponent
10establishes the will by sufficient competent evidence, the
11original order admitting it to probate and the original order
12appointing the representative shall be confirmed and effective
13as to all persons, including creditors, as of the dates of
14their entries, unless there is proof of fraud, forgery,
15compulsion, or other improper conduct that in the opinion of
16the court is sufficient to invalidate or destroy the will. The
17time for filing a petition to contest a will under Section 8-1
18of the Probate Act of 1975 is not extended by the filing of the
19petition under this Section if the order admitting the will to
20probate is confirmed, but if that order is vacated, the time
21for filing the petition under Section 8-2 of the Probate Act of
221975 runs from the date of vacation of the order admitting the
23will to probate.
 
24    Section 20-40. Formal proof of an electronic will. If a
25petition is filed for proof of an electronic will under

 

 

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1Section 6-21 of the Probate Act of 1975 or Section 20-35 of
2this Act, the Court shall determine whether the electronic
3will is a tamper-evident electronic record and has not been
4altered apart from the electronic signatures and other
5information that arises in the normal course of communication,
6storage, and display.
 
7    Section 20-45. Formal proof of will witnessed under the
8Electronic Commerce Security Act. Testimony or other evidence
9at a hearing for formal proof of a will under Section 6-21 of
10the Probate of 1975 by a remote witness who witnessed the will
11under Section 95-20 of the Electronic Commerce Security Act
12shall establish the testator and remote witness substantially
13complied with the requirements of Section 95-20 of the
14Electronic Commerce Security Act and the remote witness
15believed the testator to be of sound mind and memory at the
16time of the signing. Formal proof of a will signed under
17Section 95-20 of the Electronic Commerce Security Act does not
18require testimony or other evidence that the remote witness
19attested to the will in the presence of the testator.
20Testimony by the remote witness that conflicts with a
21statement in the attestation clause or affidavit that the
22remote witness attested to the will in the presence of the
23testator does not affect proof of the will or the credibility
24of the remote witness.
 

 

 

SB0730 Engrossed- 19 -LRB102 04557 LNS 14576 b

1
Article 95. Amendatory Provisions

 
2    Section 95-5. The Electronic Commerce Security Act is
3amended by changing Sections 5-115, 5-120, 5-125, and 10-130
4as follows:
 
5    (5 ILCS 175/5-115)
6    Sec. 5-115. Electronic records.
7    (a) Where a rule of law requires information to be
8"written" or "in writing", or provides for certain
9consequences if it is not, an electronic record satisfies that
10rule of law.
11    (b) The provisions of this Section shall not apply:
12        (1) when its application would involve a construction
13    of a rule of law that is clearly inconsistent with the
14    manifest intent of the lawmaking body or repugnant to the
15    context of the same rule of law, provided that the mere
16    requirement that information be "in writing", "written",
17    or "printed" shall not by itself be sufficient to
18    establish such intent;
19        (2) to any rule of law governing the creation or
20    execution of a will or trust; and
21        (3) to any record that serves as a unique and
22    transferable instrument of rights and obligations under
23    the Uniform Commercial Code including, without limitation,
24    negotiable instruments and other instruments of title

 

 

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1    wherein possession of the instrument is deemed to confer
2    title, unless an electronic version of such record is
3    created, stored, and transferred in a manner that allows
4    for the existence of only one unique, identifiable, and
5    unalterable original with the functional attributes of an
6    equivalent physical instrument, that can be possessed by
7    only one person, and which cannot be copied except in a
8    form that is readily identifiable as a copy.
9(Source: P.A. 101-163, eff. 1-1-20.)
 
10    (5 ILCS 175/5-120)
11    Sec. 5-120. Electronic signatures.
12    (a) Where a rule of law requires a signature, or provides
13for certain consequences if a document is not signed, an
14electronic signature satisfies that rule of law.
15    (a-5) In the course of exercising any permitting,
16licensing, or other regulatory function, a municipality may
17accept, but shall not require, documents with an electronic
18signature, including, but not limited to, the technical
19submissions of a design professional with an electronic
20signature.
21    (b) An electronic signature may be proved in any manner,
22including by showing that a procedure existed by which a party
23must of necessity have executed a symbol or security procedure
24for the purpose of verifying that an electronic record is that
25of such party in order to proceed further with a transaction.

 

 

SB0730 Engrossed- 21 -LRB102 04557 LNS 14576 b

1    (c) The provisions of this Section shall not apply:
2        (1) when its application would involve a construction
3    of a rule of law that is clearly inconsistent with the
4    manifest intent of the lawmaking body or repugnant to the
5    context of the same rule of law, provided that the mere
6    requirement of a "signature" or that a record be "signed"
7    shall not by itself be sufficient to establish such
8    intent;
9        (2) to any rule of law governing the creation or
10    execution of a will or trust; and
11        (3) to any record that serves as a unique and
12    transferable instrument of rights and obligations under
13    the Uniform Commercial Code including, without limitation,
14    negotiable instruments and other instruments of title
15    wherein possession of the instrument is deemed to confer
16    title, unless an electronic version of such record is
17    created, stored, and transferred in a manner that allows
18    for the existence of only one unique, identifiable, and
19    unalterable original with the functional attributes of an
20    equivalent physical instrument, that can be possessed by
21    only one person, and which cannot be copied except in a
22    form that is readily identifiable as a copy.
23(Source: P.A. 101-163, eff. 1-1-20.)
 
24    (5 ILCS 175/5-125)
25    Sec. 5-125. Original.

 

 

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1    (a) Where a rule of law requires information to be
2presented or retained in its original form, or provides
3consequences for the information not being presented or
4retained in its original form, that rule of law is satisfied by
5an electronic record if there exists reliable assurance as to
6the integrity of the information from the time when it was
7first generated in its final form, as an electronic record or
8otherwise.
9    (b) The criteria for assessing integrity shall be whether
10the information has remained complete and unaltered, apart
11from the addition of any endorsement or other information that
12arises in the normal course of communication, storage and
13display. The standard of reliability required to ensure that
14information has remained complete and unaltered shall be
15assessed in the light of the purpose for which the information
16was generated and in the light of all the relevant
17circumstances.
18    (c) The provisions of this Section do not apply to any
19record that serves as a unique and transferable instrument of
20rights and obligations under the Uniform Commercial Code
21including, without limitation, negotiable instruments and
22other instruments of title wherein possession of the
23instrument is deemed to confer title, unless an electronic
24version of such record is created, stored, and transferred in
25a manner that allows for the existence of only one unique,
26identifiable, and unalterable original with the functional

 

 

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1attributes of an equivalent physical instrument, that can be
2possessed by only one person, and which cannot be copied
3except in a form that is readily identifiable as a copy.
4(Source: P.A. 90-759, eff. 7-1-99.)
 
5    (5 ILCS 175/10-130)
6    Sec. 10-130. Attribution of signature.
7    (a) Except as provided by another applicable rule of law,
8a secure electronic signature is attributable to the person to
9whom it correlates, whether or not authorized, if:
10        (1) the electronic signature resulted from acts of a
11    person that obtained the signature device or other
12    information necessary to create the signature from a
13    source under the control of the alleged signer, creating
14    the appearance that it came from that party;
15        (2) the access or use occurred under circumstances
16    constituting a failure to exercise reasonable care by the
17    alleged signer; and
18        (3) the relying party relied reasonably and in good
19    faith to its detriment on the apparent source of the
20    electronic record.
21    (b) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to
22transactions and documents intended primarily for personal,
23family, or household use, or otherwise defined as consumer
24transactions by applicable law including, but not limited to,
25credit card and automated teller machine transactions except

 

 

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1to the extent allowed by applicable consumer law, trust
2agreements, powers of attorney for property or health care,
3beneficiary designation forms, and deeds transferring
4residential real property.
5(Source: P.A. 90-759, eff. 7-1-99.)
 
6    Section 95-10. The Probate Act of 1975 is amended by
7changing Sections 1-2.18, 6-5, 6-6, 8-1, and 8-2 and by adding
8Sections 1-2.25 and 1-2.26 as follows:
 
9    (755 ILCS 5/1-2.18)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 1-2.18)
10    Sec. 1-2.18. "Will" includes electronic will, certified
11paper copy of an electronic will, testament and codicil.
12(Source: P.A. 81-213.)
 
13    (755 ILCS 5/1-2.25 new)
14    Sec. 1-2.25. Where this Act requires information to be
15"written" or "in writing", or provides for certain
16consequences if it is not, an electronic record under the
17Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act satisfies the
18provisions of this Act.
 
19    (755 ILCS 5/1-2.26 new)
20    Sec. 1-2.26. "In the presence of" and any variation
21thereof includes:
22    (1) being in the same physical location as another person

 

 

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1and close enough to see and know the other person is signing a
2document; or
3    (2) being in a different physical location from another
4person, but able, using electronic means, to see, hear,
5communicate, and know that the person is signing a document in
6real time.
 
7    (755 ILCS 5/6-5)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 6-5)
8    Sec. 6-5. Deposition of witness.) When a witness to a will
9or other party who shall testify to have a will admitted to
10probate resides outside the county in which the will is
11offered for probate or is unable to attend court and can be
12found and is mentally and physically capable of testifying,
13the court, upon the petition of any person seeking probate of
14the will and upon such notice of the petition to persons
15interested as the court directs, may issue a commission with
16the will or a photographic copy thereof attached. The
17commission shall be directed to any judge, notary public,
18mayor or other chief magistrate of a city or United States
19consul, vice-consul, consular agent, secretary of legation or
20commissioned officer in active service of the armed forces of
21the United States and shall authorize and require the
22authorized person him to cause that witness or other party to
23come before the authorized person him at such time and place as
24the authorized person he designates and to take the deposition
25of the witness or other party on oath or affirmation and upon

 

 

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1all such written interrogatories and cross-interrogatories as
2may be enclosed with the commission. With the least possible
3delay the person taking the deposition shall certify it, the
4commission, and the interrogatories to the court from which
5the commission issued. When the deposition of a witness or
6other party is so taken and returned to the court, the his
7testimony of the witness or other party has the same effect as
8if the witness or other party he testified in the court from
9which the commission issued. When the commission is issued to
10the officer by his official title only and not by name, the
11seal of the his office attached to the officer's his
12certificate is sufficient evidence of the officer's his
13identity and official character.
14(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)
 
15    (755 ILCS 5/6-6)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 6-6)
16    Sec. 6-6. Proof of handwriting of a deceased or
17inaccessible witness or a witness with a disability.)
18    (a) If a witness to a will or other party who shall testify
19to have a will admitted (1) is dead, (2) is blind, (3) is
20mentally or physically incapable of testifying, (4) cannot be
21found, (5) is in active service of the armed forces of the
22United States or (6) is outside this State, the court may admit
23proof of the handwriting of the witness or other party and such
24other secondary evidence as is admissible in any court of
25record to establish electronic records or written contracts

 

 

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1and may admit the will to probate as though it had been proved
2by the testimony of the witness or other party. On motion of
3any interested person or on its own motion, the court may
4require that the deposition of any such witness or other
5party, who can be found, is mentally and physically capable of
6testifying and is not in the active service of the armed forces
7of the United States outside of the continental United States,
8be taken as the best evidence thereof.
9    (b) As used in this Section, "continental United States"
10means the States of the United States and the District of
11Columbia.
12(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
 
13    (755 ILCS 5/8-1)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 8-1)
14    Sec. 8-1. Contest of admission of will to probate; notice.
15    (a) Within 6 months after the admission to probate of a
16domestic will in accordance with the provisions of Section 6-4
17or Section 20-20 or 20-25 of the Electronic Wills and Remote
18Witnesses Act, or of a foreign will in accordance with the
19provisions of Article VII of this Act, any interested person
20may file a petition in the proceeding for the administration
21of the testator's estate or, if no proceeding is pending, in
22the court in which the will was admitted to probate, to contest
23the validity of the will.
24    (b) The petitioner shall cause a copy of the petition to be
25mailed or delivered to the representative, to his or her

 

 

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1attorney of record, and to each heir and legatee whose name is
2listed in the petition to admit the will to probate and in any
3amended petition filed in accordance with Section 6-11, at the
4address stated in the petition or amended petition. Filing a
5pleading constitutes a waiver of the mailing or delivery of
6the notice to the person filing the pleading. Failure to mail
7or deliver a copy of the petition to an heir or a legatee does
8not extend the time within which a petition to contest the will
9may be filed under subsection (a) of this Section or affect the
10validity of the judgement entered in the proceeding.
11    (c) Any contestant or proponent may demand a trial by
12jury. An issue shall be made whether or not the instrument
13produced is the will of the testator. The contestant shall in
14the first instance proceed with proof to establish the
15invalidity of the will. At the close of the contestant's case,
16the proponent may present evidence to sustain the will. An
17authenticated transcript of the testimony of any witness or
18other party taken at the time of the hearing on the admission
19of the will to probate, or an affidavit of any witness or other
20party received as evidence under subsection 6-4(b), paragraphs
21(c) and (e) of Section 20-20 of the Electronic Wills and Remote
22Witnesses Act, or Section 20-25 of the Electronic Wills and
23Remote Witnesses Act, is admissible in evidence.
24    (d) The right to institute or continue a proceeding to
25contest the validity of a will survives and descends to the
26heir, legatee, representative, grantee or assignee of the

 

 

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1person entitled to institute the proceeding.
2    (e) It is the duty of the representative to defend a
3proceeding to contest the validity of the will. The court may
4order the representative to defend the proceeding or prosecute
5an appeal from the judgment. If the representative fails or
6refuses to do so when ordered by the court, or if there is no
7representative then acting, the court, upon its motion or on
8application of any interested person, may appoint a special
9administrator to defend or appeal in his stead.
10    (f) An action to set aside or contest the validity of a
11revocable inter vivos trust agreement or declaration of trust
12to which a legacy is provided by the settlor's will which is
13admitted to probate shall be commenced within and not after
14the time to contest the validity of a will as provided in
15subsection (a) of this Section and Section 13-223 of the Code
16of Civil Procedure.
17    (g) This amendatory Act of 1995 applies to pending cases
18as well as cases commenced on or after its effective date.
19(Source: P.A. 89-364, eff. 8-18-95.)
 
20    (755 ILCS 5/8-2)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 8-2)
21    Sec. 8-2. Contest of denial of admission of will to
22probate.
23    (a) Within 6 months after the entry of an order denying
24admission to probate of a domestic will in accordance with the
25provisions of Section 6-4 or Section 20-20 or 20-25 of the

 

 

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1Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act, or of a foreign
2will in accordance with the provisions of Article VII of this
3Act, any interested person desiring to contest the denial of
4admission may file a petition to admit the will to probate in
5the proceeding for the administration of the decedent's estate
6or, if no proceeding is pending, in the court which denied
7admission of the will to probate. The petition must state the
8facts required to be stated in Section 6-2 or 6-20, whichever
9is applicable.
10    (b) The petitioner shall cause a copy of the petition to be
11mailed or delivered to the representative, to his or her
12attorney of record, and to each heir and legatee whose name is
13listed in the petition to admit the will to probate and in any
14amended petition filed in accordance with Section 6-11, at the
15address stated in the petition or amended petition. Filing a
16pleading constitutes a waiver of the mailing or delivery of
17the notice to the person filing the pleading. Failure to mail
18or deliver a copy of the petition to an heir or legatee does
19not extend the time within which a petition to admit the will
20to probate may be filed under subsection (a) of Section 8-1 or
21affect the validity of the judgment entered in the proceeding.
22    (c) Any proponent or contestant may demand a trial by
23jury. An issue shall be made whether or not the instrument
24produced is the will of the testator. The proponent shall in
25the first instance proceed with proof to establish the
26validity of the will and may introduce any evidence competent

 

 

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1to establish a will. Any interested person may oppose the
2petition and may introduce any evidence admissible in a will
3contest under Section 8-1. At the close of the contestant's
4case, the proponent may present further evidence to sustain
5the will.
6    (d) The right to institute or continue a proceeding to
7contest the denial of admission of a will to probate survives
8and descends to the heir, legatee, representative, grantee or
9assignee of the person entitled to institute the proceeding.
10    (e) The court may order the representative to defend a
11proceeding to probate the will or prosecute an appeal from the
12judgment. If the representative fails or refuses to do so when
13ordered by the court, or if there is no representative then
14acting, the court, upon its motion or on application of any
15interested person, may appoint a special administrator to do
16so in his stead.
17    (f) A person named as executor in a will that has been
18denied admission to probate has no duty to file or support a
19petition under Section 8-2.
20    (g) This amendatory Act of 1995 applies to pending cases
21as well as cases commenced on or after its effective date.
22(Source: P.A. 89-364, eff. 8-18-95.)
 
23
Article 99. Effective Date

 
24    Section 99-99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
25becoming law.