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

SB0730ham001 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Rep. Daniel Didech

Filed: 5/10/2021

 

 


 

 


 
10200SB0730ham001LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1
AMENDMENT TO SENATE BILL 730

2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 730 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
 
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

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 2 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1this Act is executed in this State; however, executing a
2document under this Act does not automatically confer
3jurisdiction in the courts of this State.
 
4    Section 1-15. Relation to Probate Act of 1975 and common
5law. All electronic wills, paper copies of electronic wills,
6and wills attested to under this Act are subject to all
7requirements of the Probate Act of 1975 and the common law, but
8to the extent the common law or any provision of the Probate
9Act of 1975 conflicts with or is modified by this Act, the
10requirements of this Act control.
 
11    Section 1-20. Definitions. As used in this Act:
12    "Audio-video communication" means communication by which a
13person can hear, see, and communicate with another person in
14real time using electronic means. A person's visual or hearing
15impairment does not prohibit or limit that person's use of
16audio-visual communication under this Act.
17    "Electronic record" means a record generated,
18communicated, received, or stored by electronic means for use
19in an information system or for transmission from one
20information system to another.
21    "Electronic signature" means a signature in electronic
22form that uses a security procedure under the Electronic
23Commerce Security Act and attached to or logically associated
24with an electronic record.

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 3 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1    "Electronic will" is a will that is created and maintained
2as a tamper-evident electronic record.
3    "Identity proofing" means a process or service through
4which a third person affirms the identity of an individual
5through a review of personal information from public and
6proprietary data sources, including: (1) by means of dynamic
7knowledge-based authentication, including a review of personal
8information from public or proprietary data sources; or (2) by
9means of an analysis of biometric data, including, but not
10limited to, facial recognition, voiceprint analysis, or
11fingerprint analysis.
12    "Paper copy" means a tamper-evident electronic record that
13is printed and contains the following: (1) the text of the
14document; (2) the electronic signature of the signer; (3) a
15readable copy of the evidence of any changes displayed in the
16electronic record; and (4) any exhibits, attestation clauses,
17affidavits, or other items forming a part of the document or
18contained in the electronic record.
19    "Paper document" means a document that is written or
20printed on paper.
21    "Physical presence" means being in the same physical
22location as another person and close enough to see and know the
23other person is signing a document.
24    "Presence" includes: (1) physical presence; or (2) being
25in a different physical location from another person, but
26able, using audio-video communication, to know the person is

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 4 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1signing a document in real time.
2    "Remote witness" means a person attesting to a document
3who is in the presence of the signer or testator through
4audio-video communication.
5    "Rule of law" means any statute, ordinance, common law
6rule, court decision, or other rule of law enacted,
7established, or promulgated by this State or any agency,
8commission, department, court, other authority, or political
9subdivision of this State.
10    "Signature" includes an electronic signature and an ink
11signature.
12    "Tamper-evident" means a feature of an electronic record
13by which any change to the electronic record is displayed.
 
14
Article 5. Electronic Wills

 
15    Section 5-5. Signing electronic wills.
16    (a) To be valid under this Act, an electronic will shall be
17executed by the testator or by some person in the testator's
18presence and at the testator's direction, and attested to in
19the testator's presence by 2 or more credible witnesses.
20    (b) The testator may sign the electronic will with the
21testator's electronic signature or may direct another person
22in the presence of the testator to sign the electronic will. A
23person signing at the testator's direction shall not be an
24attesting witness, a person receiving a beneficial legacy or

 

 

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1interest under the will, or the spouse or child of a person
2receiving a beneficial legacy or interest under the will.
3    (c) Each witness shall sign the electronic will with an
4electronic signature in the presence of the testator after
5seeing the testator sign, seeing the testator direct another
6person in the testator's presence to sign, or seeing the
7testator acknowledge the signature as the testator's act.
8    (d) If the will is attested to by a remote witness, the
9requirements for an attestation by a remote witness under
10Section 15-10 also apply.
 
11    Section 5-10. Revocation.
12    (a) An electronic will may be revoked in the following
13ways:
14        (1) execution of a later will declaring the
15    revocation;
16        (2) execution of a later will to the extent that it is
17    inconsistent with the prior will; or
18        (3) execution of a written instrument by the testator
19    declaring the revocation.
20    (b) If there is evidence that a testator signed an
21electronic will and neither an electronic will nor a certified
22paper copy of the electronic will can be located after a
23testator's death, there is a presumption that the testator
24revoked the electronic will even if no instrument or later
25will revoking the electronic will can be located.
 

 

 

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1    Section 5-15. Digital assets and electronic commerce.
2    (a) At any time during the administration of the estate
3without further notice or, if there is no grant of
4administration, upon such notice and in such a manner as the
5court directs, the court may issue an order under the Revised
6Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (2015) for a
7custodian of an account held under a terms-of-service
8agreement to disclose digital assets for the purposes of
9obtaining an electronic will from a deceased user's account.
10If there is no grant of administration at the time the court
11issues the order, the court's order shall grant disclosure to
12the petitioner who is deemed a personal representative under
13the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act
14(2015).
15    (b) Except as specified in this Act, the Electronic
16Commerce Security Act does not apply to the execution or
17revocation of an electronic will.
 
18
Article 10. Certified Paper Copies

 
19    Section 10-5. Certified paper copy. Where a rule of law
20requires information to be presented or retained in its
21original form, or provides consequences for the information
22not being presented or retained in its original form, that
23rule of law is satisfied by a certified paper copy of the

 

 

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1electronic record.
 
2    Section 10-10. Creation of a certified paper copy.
3    (a) A certified paper copy is a paper copy of an electronic
4record that has been certified by the person who converts the
5electronic record to a paper copy.
6    (b) The person certifying a paper copy shall state the
7following:
8        (1) the date that the person prepared the paper copy;
9        (2) the name of the person who prepared the paper
10    copy;
11        (3) the date that the person who prepared the paper
12    copy came into possession of the electronic record;
13        (4) a description of how the person who prepared the
14    paper copy came into possession of the electronic record;
15        (5) confirmation that the paper copy is a complete and
16    correct copy of the electronic record; and
17        (6) confirmation that the electronic record is a
18    tamper-evident electronic record.
19    (c) The statements by a person who prepares a certified
20paper copy shall be made by:
21        (1) testimony before the court;
22        (2) a written statement certified under Section 1-109
23    of the Code of Civil Procedure attached to the paper copy;
24    or
25        (3) an affidavit attached to the paper copy.

 

 

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1    (d) A certified paper copy of a tamper-evident electronic
2record, other than an electronic will, may be created any time
3after the signer signs the electronic record under the
4Electronic Commerce Security Act.
5    (e) A certified paper copy of an electronic will may be
6created any time after the testator signs the electronic will
7or directs another person in the testator's presence to sign
8the electronic will.
 
9    Section 10-15. Witnessing a certified paper copy.
10    (a) A certified paper copy of an electronic record may be
11witnessed after it is prepared. The witness shall be in the
12signer's presence when the signer acknowledges the electronic
13signature as the signer's act.
14    (b) If an electronic will is not attested to by 2 or more
15credible witnesses, a certified paper copy of the electronic
16will may be attested to by witnesses in the testator's
17presence after the testator acknowledges the electronic
18signature as the testator's act.
 
19
Article 15. Remote Witnesses

 
20    Section 15-5. Remote witness for document other than a
21will.
22    (a) A person may witness any document, other than a will,
23using audio-video communication between the individual signing

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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1        (3) the witness shall attest to the will in the
2    testator's presence.
3    (e) If the will consists of separate signature pages,
4attestation clauses, or affidavits forming a part of the will,
5the testator or a person appointed by the testator shall
6attach the witness's signed signature page, attestation
7clause, or affidavit forming a part of the will or a copy of
8the same to the paper document containing the testator's
9signature or a paper copy of the electronic will within 10
10business days of the attestation.
 
11    Section 15-15. Determining a signer's or testator's
12identity. A witness shall determine a signer's or testator's
13identity by one or more of the following methods:
14    (1) personal knowledge;
15    (2) a government-issued identification;
16    (3) another form of identification that includes a
17photograph of the holder; or
18    (4) identity proofing.
 
19    Section 15-20. Remote witnessing and notarization during
20the COVID-19 emergency declaration.
21    (a) The purpose of this Section is to give statutory
22approval to the notary and witness guidelines provided in
23Executive Order 2020-14.
24    (b) Notwithstanding any provision of law or rule,

 

 

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1effective March 26, 2020 and ending 30 days after the
2expiration of the Governor's emergency declaration regarding
3COVID-19, a notarial act or an act of witnessing, including
4when a person must "appear before", act "in the presence of",
5or any variation thereof, may be performed through means of
62-way audio-video communication technology that allows for
7direct contemporaneous interaction by sight and sound between
8the individual signing the document, the witness, and the
9notary public.
10    (c) A notarial act satisfies the "appearing before"
11requirement under Section 6-102 of the Illinois Notary Public
12Act if the notary public performs a remote notarization via
132-way audio-video communication technology, if the notary
14public commissioned in this State is physically within the
15State while performing the notarial act and the transaction
16follows any guidance or rules provided by the Secretary of
17State in existence on the date of notarization.
18    (d) An act of witnessing and the technology used in the
19audio-video communication shall substantially comply with the
20following process:
21        (1) the 2-way audio-video communication shall be
22    recorded and preserved by the signatory or the signatory's
23    designee for a period of at least 3 years;
24        (2) the signatory shall attest to being physically
25    located in the State during the 2-way audio-video
26    communication;

 

 

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1        (3) the witness shall attest to being physically
2    located in the State during the 2-way audio-video
3    communication;
4        (4) the signatory shall affirmatively state on the
5    2-way audio-video communication what document the
6    signatory is signing;
7        (5) each page of the document being witnessed shall be
8    shown to the witness on the 2-way audio-video
9    communication technology in a means clearly legible to the
10    witness;
11        (6) the act of signing shall be captured sufficiently
12    up close on the 2-way audio-video communication for the
13    witness to observe;
14        (7) the signatory shall transmit by overnight mail,
15    fax, electronic, or other means a legible copy of the
16    entire signed document directly to the witness no later
17    than the day after the document is signed;
18        (8) the witness shall sign the transmitted copy of the
19    document as a witness and transmit the signed copy of the
20    document back via overnight mail, fax, electronic, or
21    other means to the signatory within 24 hours of receipt;
22    and
23        (9) if necessary, the witness may sign the original
24    signed document as of the date of the original execution
25    by the signatory if the witness receives the original
26    signed document together with the electronically witnessed

 

 

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1    copy within 30 days from the date of the remote
2    witnessing.
3    (e) The prohibition on electronic signatures on certain
4documents in subsection (c) of Section 120 of the Electronic
5Commerce Security Act remains in full effect.
6    (f) Notwithstanding any law or rule of this State to the
7contrary, absent an express prohibition in a document against
8signing in counterparts, all legal documents, including, but
9not limited to, deeds, last wills and testaments, trusts,
10durable powers of attorney for property, and powers of
11attorney for health care, may be signed in counterparts by the
12witnesses and the signatory. A notary public shall be
13presented with a fax or electronic copy of the document
14signature pages showing the witness signatures on the same
15date the document is signed by the signatory if the notary
16public is being asked to certify to the appearance of the
17witnesses to a document.
18    (g) Any technology issues that may occur do not impact the
19validity or effect of any instrument or document signed under
20this Section. As used in this Section, "technology issues"
21include, but are not limited to, problems with the Internet
22connection, user error related to the use of technology, the
23file containing a recorded act becoming corrupted, or other
24temporary malfunctions involving the technology used in an act
25of witnessing or a notarial act.
 

 

 

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1
Article 20. Admission of Wills to Probate

 
2    Section 20-5. Electronic will. In addition to the
3requirements of Section 6-2 of the Probate Act of 1975, the
4petitioner shall state in the petition to have an electronic
5will admitted to probate that the electronic will is a
6tamper-evident electronic record and it has not been altered
7apart from the electronic signatures and other information
8that arises in the normal course of communication, storage,
9and display.
 
10    Section 20-10. Admission of paper copy of electronic will.
11Before being admitted to probate, a paper copy of an
12electronic will shall be:
13    (1) certified under Section 10-10; or
14    (2) supported by sufficient evidence to overcome the
15presumption under subsection (b) of Section 5-10 that the
16testator revoked the electronic will.
 
17    Section 20-15. Admission of wills attested to by witnesses
18who are physically present. An electronic will or paper copy
19of an electronic will attested to by witnesses who are all in
20the testator's physical presence at the time of attestation
21shall be sufficiently proved under Section 6-4 of the Probate
22Act of 1975 to be admitted to probate.
 

 

 

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1    Section 20-20. Admission of wills attested to by a remote
2witness.
3    (a) A will, other than a will signed under Section 15-20,
4attested to by one or more remote witnesses is sufficiently
5proved to be admitted to probate when each of at least 2 of the
6attesting witnesses make the statements described in
7subsection (b), and if the testator appointed a person to
8attach any separate signature pages, attestation clauses, or
9affidavits forming a part of a paper copy of an electronic will
10or paper document, each appointed person, other than the
11testator, makes the statements described in subsection (d).
12    (b) Each attesting witness shall state that:
13        (1) the attesting witness was present and saw the
14    testator or some person in the testator's presence and by
15    the testator's direction sign the will in the presence of
16    the witness or the testator acknowledged it to the witness
17    as the testator's act;
18        (2) the will was attested to by the witness in the
19    presence of the testator;
20        (3) the witness believed the testator to be of sound
21    mind and memory at the time of signing or acknowledging
22    the will; and
23        (4) if the attesting witness is a remote witness, the
24    method used to determine the testator's identity.
25    (c) The statements of an attesting witness under
26subsection (b) may be made by:

 

 

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1        (1) testimony before the court;
2        (2) an attestation clause signed by the witness and
3    attached to the will within 10 business days of the
4    execution;
5        (3) an affidavit that is signed by the witness at the
6    time of attestation and is attached to the will within 10
7    business days; or
8        (4) an affidavit that is signed after the time of
9    attestation and is attached to an accurate copy of the
10    will.
11    (d) Any person appointed by the testator to attach to the
12will the witnesses' signed signature pages, attestation
13clauses, or affidavits forming a part of the will or copies of
14the same shall state:
15        (1) that the signed signature pages, attestation
16    clauses, or affidavits forming a part of the will or
17    copies of the same were attached within 10 business days
18    of each witness's attestation;
19        (2) that the person attached the signed signature
20    pages, attestation clauses, or affidavits forming a part
21    of the will or copies of the same to the testator's
22    complete and correct will; and
23        (3) if the signed signature pages, attestation
24    clauses, or affidavits forming a part of the will were
25    signed as electronic records, the statements required to
26    certify the paper copies of the electronic records under

 

 

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1    Section 10-10.
2    (e) The statements under subsection (d) by any person,
3other than the testator, attaching the attesting witnesses
4signature pages, attestation clauses, affidavits, or copies of
5the same may be made by:
6        (1) testimony before the court;
7        (2) a written statement certified under Section 1-109
8    of the Code of Civil Procedure that is signed and attached
9    to the will when attaching the signature pages,
10    attestation clauses, affidavits of the witnesses, or
11    copies of the same; or
12        (3) an affidavit signed at or after the time of
13    attaching the signature pages, attestation clauses,
14    affidavits of the witnesses, or copies of the same and
15    attached to the will or an accurate copy of the will.
 
16    Section 20-25. Admission of a will signed during the
17COVID-19 emergency declaration. A will attested to by a
18remote witness under Section 15-20 is sufficiently proved to
19be admitted to probate when each of at least 2 attesting
20witnesses:
21    (1) sign an attestation clause or affidavit substantially
22complying with the statements required under subsection (a) of
23Section 6-4 of the Probate Act of 1975 within 48 hours of the
24act of witnessing, and the attestation clause, affidavit, or a
25copy of the same is attached to the will signed by the testator

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 19 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1or an accurate copy of the will;
2    (2) sign an attestation clause or affidavit at or after
3the act of witnessing that is attached to the will or an
4accurate copy of the will stating the testator and remote
5witness to the will substantially complied with Section 15-20
6and the remote witness believed the testator to be of sound
7mind and memory at the time of the signing; or
8    (3) testify in court that the testator and remote witness
9substantially complied with Section 15-20 and that the remote
10witness believed the testator to be of sound mind and memory at
11the time of the signing.
 
12    Section 20-30. Evidence of fraud, forgery, compulsion, or
13other improper conduct. Nothing in this Article prohibits any
14party from introducing evidence of fraud, forgery, compulsion,
15or other improper conduct that in the opinion of the court is
16deemed sufficient to invalidate the will when being admitted.
17The proponent may also introduce any other evidence competent
18to establish the validity of a will. If the proponent
19establishes the validity of the will by sufficient competent
20evidence, it shall be admitted to probate unless there is
21proof of fraud, forgery, compulsion, or other improper conduct
22that in the opinion of the court is deemed sufficient to
23invalidate the will.
 
24    Section 20-35. Formal proof of will with remote witness

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 20 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1under Section 20-20. If a will has been admitted to probate
2under Section 20-20 before notice, any person entitled to
3notice under Section 6-10 of the Probate Act of 1975 may file a
4petition within 42 days after the effective date of the
5original order admitting the will to probate to require proof
6of the will, pursuant to this Section. The court shall set the
7matter for hearing upon such notice to interested persons as
8the court directs. At the hearing, the proponent shall
9establish the will by testimony of the relevant parties as
10provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of Section 10-10,
11paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of Section 20-20, or paragraph
12(1) of subsection (e) of Section 20-20 or deposition of the
13relevant parties following the procedures in Section 6-5 of
14the Probate Act of 1975 or other evidence as provided in the
15Probate Act of 1975, but not as provided by paragraph (2) or
16(3) of subsection (c) of Section 10-10, paragraph (2) or (3) of
17subsection (c) of Section 20-20, or paragraph (2) or (3) of
18subsection (e) of Section 20-20, as if the will had not
19originally been admitted to probate. If the proponent
20establishes the will by sufficient competent evidence, the
21original order admitting it to probate and the original order
22appointing the representative shall be confirmed and effective
23as to all persons, including creditors, as of the dates of
24their entries, unless there is proof of fraud, forgery,
25compulsion, or other improper conduct that in the opinion of
26the court is sufficient to invalidate or destroy the will. The

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 21 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1time for filing a petition to contest a will under Section 8-1
2of the Probate Act of 1975 is not extended by the filing of the
3petition under this Section if the order admitting the will to
4probate is confirmed, but if that order is vacated, the time
5for filing the petition under Section 8-2 of the Probate Act of
61975 runs from the date of vacation of the order admitting the
7will to probate.
 
8    Section 20-40. Formal proof of an electronic will. If a
9petition is filed for proof of an electronic will under
10Section 6-21 of the Probate Act of 1975 or Section 20-35 of
11this Act, the Court shall determine whether the electronic
12will is a tamper-evident electronic record and has not been
13altered apart from the electronic signatures and other
14information that arises in the normal course of communication,
15storage, and display.
 
16    Section 20-45. Formal proof of will witnessed during the
17COVID-19 emergency declaration. Testimony or other evidence
18at a hearing for formal proof of a will under Section 6-21 of
19the Probate of 1975 by a remote witness who witnessed the will
20under Section 15-20 shall establish the testator and remote
21witness substantially complied with the requirements of
22Section 15-20 and the remote witness believed the testator to
23be of sound mind and memory at the time of the signing. Formal
24proof of a will signed under Section 15-20 does not require

 

 

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1testimony or other evidence that the remote witness attested
2to the will in the presence of the testator. Testimony by the
3remote witness that conflicts with a statement in the
4attestation clause or affidavit that the remote witness
5attested to the will in the presence of the testator does not
6affect proof of the will or the credibility of the remote
7witness.
 
8
Article 95. Amendatory Provisions

 
9    Section 95-5. The Electronic Commerce Security Act is
10amended by changing Sections 5-115, 5-120, 5-125, and 10-130
11as follows:
 
12    (5 ILCS 175/5-115)
13    Sec. 5-115. Electronic records.
14    (a) Where a rule of law requires information to be
15"written" or "in writing", or provides for certain
16consequences if it is not, an electronic record satisfies that
17rule of law.
18    (b) The provisions of this Section shall not apply:
19        (1) when its application would involve a construction
20    of a rule of law that is clearly inconsistent with the
21    manifest intent of the lawmaking body or repugnant to the
22    context of the same rule of law, provided that the mere
23    requirement that information be "in writing", "written",

 

 

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1    or "printed" shall not by itself be sufficient to
2    establish such intent;
3        (2) to any rule of law governing the creation or
4    execution of a will or trust; and
5        (3) to any record that serves as a unique and
6    transferable instrument of rights and obligations under
7    the Uniform Commercial Code including, without limitation,
8    negotiable instruments and other instruments of title
9    wherein possession of the instrument is deemed to confer
10    title, unless an electronic version of such record is
11    created, stored, and transferred in a manner that allows
12    for the existence of only one unique, identifiable, and
13    unalterable original with the functional attributes of an
14    equivalent physical instrument, that can be possessed by
15    only one person, and which cannot be copied except in a
16    form that is readily identifiable as a copy.
17(Source: P.A. 101-163, eff. 1-1-20.)
 
18    (5 ILCS 175/5-120)
19    Sec. 5-120. Electronic signatures.
20    (a) Where a rule of law requires a signature, or provides
21for certain consequences if a document is not signed, an
22electronic signature satisfies that rule of law.
23    (a-5) In the course of exercising any permitting,
24licensing, or other regulatory function, a municipality may
25accept, but shall not require, documents with an electronic

 

 

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1signature, including, but not limited to, the technical
2submissions of a design professional with an electronic
3signature.
4    (b) An electronic signature may be proved in any manner,
5including by showing that a procedure existed by which a party
6must of necessity have executed a symbol or security procedure
7for the purpose of verifying that an electronic record is that
8of such party in order to proceed further with a transaction.
9    (c) The provisions of this Section shall not apply:
10        (1) when its application would involve a construction
11    of a rule of law that is clearly inconsistent with the
12    manifest intent of the lawmaking body or repugnant to the
13    context of the same rule of law, provided that the mere
14    requirement of a "signature" or that a record be "signed"
15    shall not by itself be sufficient to establish such
16    intent;
17        (2) to any rule of law governing the creation or
18    execution of a will or trust; and
19        (3) to any record that serves as a unique and
20    transferable instrument of rights and obligations under
21    the Uniform Commercial Code including, without limitation,
22    negotiable instruments and other instruments of title
23    wherein possession of the instrument is deemed to confer
24    title, unless an electronic version of such record is
25    created, stored, and transferred in a manner that allows
26    for the existence of only one unique, identifiable, and

 

 

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1    unalterable original with the functional attributes of an
2    equivalent physical instrument, that can be possessed by
3    only one person, and which cannot be copied except in a
4    form that is readily identifiable as a copy.
5(Source: P.A. 101-163, eff. 1-1-20.)
 
6    (5 ILCS 175/5-125)
7    Sec. 5-125. Original.
8    (a) Where a rule of law requires information to be
9presented or retained in its original form, or provides
10consequences for the information not being presented or
11retained in its original form, that rule of law is satisfied by
12an electronic record if there exists reliable assurance as to
13the integrity of the information from the time when it was
14first generated in its final form, as an electronic record or
15otherwise.
16    (b) The criteria for assessing integrity shall be whether
17the information has remained complete and unaltered, apart
18from the addition of any endorsement or other information that
19arises in the normal course of communication, storage and
20display. The standard of reliability required to ensure that
21information has remained complete and unaltered shall be
22assessed in the light of the purpose for which the information
23was generated and in the light of all the relevant
24circumstances.
25    (c) The provisions of this Section do not apply to any

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 26 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1record that serves as a unique and transferable instrument of
2rights and obligations under the Uniform Commercial Code
3including, without limitation, negotiable instruments and
4other instruments of title wherein possession of the
5instrument is deemed to confer title, unless an electronic
6version of such record is created, stored, and transferred in
7a manner that allows for the existence of only one unique,
8identifiable, and unalterable original with the functional
9attributes of an equivalent physical instrument, that can be
10possessed by only one person, and which cannot be copied
11except in a form that is readily identifiable as a copy.
12(Source: P.A. 90-759, eff. 7-1-99.)
 
13    (5 ILCS 175/10-130)
14    Sec. 10-130. Attribution of signature.
15    (a) Except as provided by another applicable rule of law,
16a secure electronic signature is attributable to the person to
17whom it correlates, whether or not authorized, if:
18        (1) the electronic signature resulted from acts of a
19    person that obtained the signature device or other
20    information necessary to create the signature from a
21    source under the control of the alleged signer, creating
22    the appearance that it came from that party;
23        (2) the access or use occurred under circumstances
24    constituting a failure to exercise reasonable care by the
25    alleged signer; and

 

 

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1        (3) the relying party relied reasonably and in good
2    faith to its detriment on the apparent source of the
3    electronic record.
4    (b) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to
5transactions and documents intended primarily for personal,
6family, or household use, or otherwise defined as consumer
7transactions by applicable law including, but not limited to,
8credit card and automated teller machine transactions except
9to the extent allowed by applicable consumer law, trust
10agreements, powers of attorney for property or health care,
11beneficiary designation forms, and deeds transferring
12residential real property.
13(Source: P.A. 90-759, eff. 7-1-99.)
 
14    Section 95-10. The Probate Act of 1975 is amended by
15changing Sections 1-2.18, 6-5, 6-6, 8-1, and 8-2 and by adding
16Sections 1-2.25 and 1-2.26 as follows:
 
17    (755 ILCS 5/1-2.18)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 1-2.18)
18    Sec. 1-2.18. "Will" includes electronic will, certified
19paper copy of an electronic will, testament and codicil.
20(Source: P.A. 81-213.)
 
21    (755 ILCS 5/1-2.25 new)
22    Sec. 1-2.25. Where this Act requires information to be
23"written" or "in writing", or provides for certain

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 28 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1consequences if it is not, an electronic record under the
2Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act satisfies the
3provisions of this Act.
 
4    (755 ILCS 5/1-2.26 new)
5    Sec. 1-2.26. "In the presence of" and any variation
6thereof includes:
7    (1) being in the same physical location as another person
8and close enough to see and know the other person is signing a
9document; or
10    (2) being in a different physical location from another
11person, but able, using electronic means, to see, hear,
12communicate, and know that the person is signing a document in
13real time.
 
14    (755 ILCS 5/6-5)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 6-5)
15    Sec. 6-5. Deposition of witness.) When a witness to a will
16or other party who shall testify to have a will admitted to
17probate resides outside the county in which the will is
18offered for probate or is unable to attend court and can be
19found and is mentally and physically capable of testifying,
20the court, upon the petition of any person seeking probate of
21the will and upon such notice of the petition to persons
22interested as the court directs, may issue a commission with
23the will or a photographic copy thereof attached. The
24commission shall be directed to any judge, notary public,

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 29 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1mayor or other chief magistrate of a city or United States
2consul, vice-consul, consular agent, secretary of legation or
3commissioned officer in active service of the armed forces of
4the United States and shall authorize and require the
5authorized person him to cause that witness or other party to
6come before the authorized person him at such time and place as
7the authorized person he designates and to take the deposition
8of the witness or other party on oath or affirmation and upon
9all such written interrogatories and cross-interrogatories as
10may be enclosed with the commission. With the least possible
11delay the person taking the deposition shall certify it, the
12commission, and the interrogatories to the court from which
13the commission issued. When the deposition of a witness or
14other party is so taken and returned to the court, the his
15testimony of the witness or other party has the same effect as
16if the witness or other party he testified in the court from
17which the commission issued. When the commission is issued to
18the officer by his official title only and not by name, the
19seal of the his office attached to the officer's his
20certificate is sufficient evidence of the officer's his
21identity and official character.
22(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)
 
23    (755 ILCS 5/6-6)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 6-6)
24    Sec. 6-6. Proof of handwriting of a deceased or
25inaccessible witness or a witness with a disability.)

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 30 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1    (a) If a witness to a will or other party who shall testify
2to have a will admitted (1) is dead, (2) is blind, (3) is
3mentally or physically incapable of testifying, (4) cannot be
4found, (5) is in active service of the armed forces of the
5United States or (6) is outside this State, the court may admit
6proof of the handwriting of the witness or other party and such
7other secondary evidence as is admissible in any court of
8record to establish electronic records or written contracts
9and may admit the will to probate as though it had been proved
10by the testimony of the witness or other party. On motion of
11any interested person or on its own motion, the court may
12require that the deposition of any such witness or other
13party, who can be found, is mentally and physically capable of
14testifying and is not in the active service of the armed forces
15of the United States outside of the continental United States,
16be taken as the best evidence thereof.
17    (b) As used in this Section, "continental United States"
18means the States of the United States and the District of
19Columbia.
20(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
 
21    (755 ILCS 5/8-1)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 8-1)
22    Sec. 8-1. Contest of admission of will to probate; notice.
23    (a) Within 6 months after the admission to probate of a
24domestic will in accordance with the provisions of Section 6-4
25or Section 20-20 or 20-25 of the Electronic Wills and Remote

 

 

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

 

 

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1of the will to probate, or an affidavit of any witness or other
2party received as evidence under subsection 6-4(b), paragraphs
3(c) and (e) of Section 20-20 of the Electronic Wills and Remote
4Witnesses Act, or Section 20-25 of the Electronic Wills and
5Remote Witnesses Act, is admissible in evidence.
6    (d) The right to institute or continue a proceeding to
7contest the validity of a will survives and descends to the
8heir, legatee, representative, grantee or assignee of the
9person entitled to institute the proceeding.
10    (e) It is the duty of the representative to defend a
11proceeding to contest the validity of the will. The court may
12order the representative to defend the proceeding or prosecute
13an appeal from the judgment. If the representative fails or
14refuses to do so when ordered by the court, or if there is no
15representative then acting, the court, upon its motion or on
16application of any interested person, may appoint a special
17administrator to defend or appeal in his stead.
18    (f) An action to set aside or contest the validity of a
19revocable inter vivos trust agreement or declaration of trust
20to which a legacy is provided by the settlor's will which is
21admitted to probate shall be commenced within and not after
22the time to contest the validity of a will as provided in
23subsection (a) of this Section and Section 13-223 of the Code
24of Civil Procedure.
25    (g) This amendatory Act of 1995 applies to pending cases
26as well as cases commenced on or after its effective date.

 

 

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1(Source: P.A. 89-364, eff. 8-18-95.)
 
2    (755 ILCS 5/8-2)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 8-2)
3    Sec. 8-2. Contest of denial of admission of will to
4probate.
5    (a) Within 6 months after the entry of an order denying
6admission to probate of a domestic will in accordance with the
7provisions of Section 6-4 or Section 20-20 or 20-25 of the
8Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act, or of a foreign
9will in accordance with the provisions of Article VII of this
10Act, any interested person desiring to contest the denial of
11admission may file a petition to admit the will to probate in
12the proceeding for the administration of the decedent's estate
13or, if no proceeding is pending, in the court which denied
14admission of the will to probate. The petition must state the
15facts required to be stated in Section 6-2 or 6-20, whichever
16is applicable.
17    (b) The petitioner shall cause a copy of the petition to be
18mailed or delivered to the representative, to his or her
19attorney of record, and to each heir and legatee whose name is
20listed in the petition to admit the will to probate and in any
21amended petition filed in accordance with Section 6-11, at the
22address stated in the petition or amended petition. Filing a
23pleading constitutes a waiver of the mailing or delivery of
24the notice to the person filing the pleading. Failure to mail
25or deliver a copy of the petition to an heir or legatee does

 

 

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1not extend the time within which a petition to admit the will
2to probate may be filed under subsection (a) of Section 8-1 or
3affect the validity of the judgment entered in the proceeding.
4    (c) Any proponent or contestant may demand a trial by
5jury. An issue shall be made whether or not the instrument
6produced is the will of the testator. The proponent shall in
7the first instance proceed with proof to establish the
8validity of the will and may introduce any evidence competent
9to establish a will. Any interested person may oppose the
10petition and may introduce any evidence admissible in a will
11contest under Section 8-1. At the close of the contestant's
12case, the proponent may present further evidence to sustain
13the will.
14    (d) The right to institute or continue a proceeding to
15contest the denial of admission of a will to probate survives
16and descends to the heir, legatee, representative, grantee or
17assignee of the person entitled to institute the proceeding.
18    (e) The court may order the representative to defend a
19proceeding to probate the will or prosecute an appeal from the
20judgment. If the representative fails or refuses to do so when
21ordered by the court, or if there is no representative then
22acting, the court, upon its motion or on application of any
23interested person, may appoint a special administrator to do
24so in his stead.
25    (f) A person named as executor in a will that has been
26denied admission to probate has no duty to file or support a

 

 

10200SB0730ham001- 35 -LRB102 04557 LNS 26156 a

1petition under Section 8-2.
2    (g) This amendatory Act of 1995 applies to pending cases
3as well as cases commenced on or after its effective date.
4(Source: P.A. 89-364, eff. 8-18-95.)
 
5
Article 99. Effective Date

 
6    Section 99-99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
7becoming law.".