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Full Text of SB0730  102nd General Assembly

SB0730sam001 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Sen. Rachelle Crowe

Filed: 3/25/2021

 

 


 

 


 
10200SB0730sam001LRB102 04557 LNS 23943 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

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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

 

 

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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
Article 20. Admission of Wills to Probate

 
20    Section 20-5. Electronic will. In addition to the
21requirements of Section 6-2 of the Probate Act of 1975, the
22petitioner shall state in the petition to have an electronic
23will admitted to probate that the electronic will is a

 

 

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1tamper-evident electronic record and it has not been altered
2apart from the electronic signatures and other information
3that arises in the normal course of communication, storage,
4and display.
 
5    Section 20-10. Admission of paper copy of electronic will.
6Before being admitted to probate, a paper copy of an
7electronic will shall be:
8    (1) certified under Section 10-10; or
9    (2) supported by sufficient evidence to overcome the
10presumption under subsection (b) of Section 5-10 that the
11testator revoked the electronic will.
 
12    Section 20-15. Admission of wills attested to by witnesses
13who are physically present. An electronic will or paper copy
14of an electronic will attested to by witnesses who are all in
15the testator's physical presence at the time of attestation
16shall be sufficiently proved under Section 6-4 of the Probate
17Act of 1975 to be admitted to probate.
 
18    Section 20-20. Admission of wills attested to by a remote
19witness.
20    (a) A will, other than a will signed under Section 95-20 of
21the Electronic Commerce Security Act, attested to by one or
22more remote witnesses is sufficiently proved to be admitted to
23probate when each of at least 2 of the attesting witnesses make

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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1        (1) testimony before the court;
2        (2) a written statement certified under Section 1-109
3    of the Code of Civil Procedure that is signed and attached
4    to the will when attaching the signature pages,
5    attestation clauses, affidavits of the witnesses, or
6    copies of the same; or
7        (3) an affidavit signed at or after the time of
8    attaching the signature pages, attestation clauses,
9    affidavits of the witnesses, or copies of the same and
10    attached to the will or an accurate copy of the will.
 
11    Section 20-25. Admission of a will signed under the
12Electronic Commerce Security Act. A will attested to by a
13remote witness under Section 95-20 of the Electronic Commerce
14Security Act is sufficiently proved to be admitted to probate
15when each of at least 2 attesting witnesses:
16    (1) sign an attestation clause or affidavit substantially
17complying with the statements required under subsection (a) of
18Section 6-4 of the Probate Act of 1975 within 48 hours of the
19act of witnessing, and the attestation clause, affidavit, or a
20copy of the same is attached to the will signed by the testator
21or an accurate copy of the will;
22    (2) sign an attestation clause or affidavit at or after
23the act of witnessing that is attached to the will or an
24accurate copy of the will stating the testator and remote
25witness to the will substantially complied with Section 95-20

 

 

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1of the Electronic Commerce Security Act and the remote witness
2believed the testator to be of sound mind and memory at the
3time of the signing; or
4    (3) testify in court that the testator and remote witness
5substantially complied with Section 95-20 of the Electronic
6Commerce Security Act and that the remote witness believed the
7testator to be of sound mind and memory at the time of the
8signing.
 
9    Section 20-30. Evidence of fraud, forgery, compulsion, or
10other improper conduct. Nothing in this Article prohibits any
11party from introducing evidence of fraud, forgery, compulsion,
12or other improper conduct that in the opinion of the court is
13deemed sufficient to invalidate the will when being admitted.
14The proponent may also introduce any other evidence competent
15to establish the validity of a will. If the proponent
16establishes the validity of the will by sufficient competent
17evidence, it shall be admitted to probate unless there is
18proof of fraud, forgery, compulsion, or other improper conduct
19that in the opinion of the court is deemed sufficient to
20invalidate the will.
 
21    Section 20-35. Formal proof of will with remote witness
22under Section 20-20. If a will has been admitted to probate
23under Section 20-20 before notice, any person entitled to
24notice under Section 6-10 of the Probate Act of 1975 may file a

 

 

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

 

 

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1probate is confirmed, but if that order is vacated, the time
2for filing the petition under Section 8-2 of the Probate Act of
31975 runs from the date of vacation of the order admitting the
4will to probate.
 
5    Section 20-40. Formal proof of an electronic will. If a
6petition is filed for proof of an electronic will under
7Section 6-21 of the Probate Act of 1975 or Section 20-35 of
8this Act, the Court shall determine whether the electronic
9will is a tamper-evident electronic record and has not been
10altered apart from the electronic signatures and other
11information that arises in the normal course of communication,
12storage, and display.
 
13    Section 20-45. Formal proof of will witnessed under the
14Electronic Commerce Security Act. Testimony or other evidence
15at a hearing for formal proof of a will under Section 6-21 of
16the Probate of 1975 by a remote witness who witnessed the will
17under Section 95-20 of the Electronic Commerce Security Act
18shall establish the testator and remote witness substantially
19complied with the requirements of Section 95-20 of the
20Electronic Commerce Security Act and the remote witness
21believed the testator to be of sound mind and memory at the
22time of the signing. Formal proof of a will signed under
23Section 95-20 of the Electronic Commerce Security Act does not
24require testimony or other evidence that the remote witness

 

 

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

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

 

 

10200SB0730sam001- 20 -LRB102 04557 LNS 23943 a

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

 

 

10200SB0730sam001- 21 -LRB102 04557 LNS 23943 a

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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1Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act satisfies the
2provisions of this Act.
 
3    (755 ILCS 5/1-2.26 new)
4    Sec. 1-2.26. "In the presence of" and any variation
5thereof includes:
6    (1) being in the same physical location as another person
7and close enough to see and know the other person is signing a
8document; or
9    (2) being in a different physical location from another
10person, but able, using electronic means, to see, hear,
11communicate, and know that the person is signing a document in
12real time.
 
13    (755 ILCS 5/6-5)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 6-5)
14    Sec. 6-5. Deposition of witness.) When a witness to a will
15or other party who shall testify to have a will admitted to
16probate resides outside the county in which the will is
17offered for probate or is unable to attend court and can be
18found and is mentally and physically capable of testifying,
19the court, upon the petition of any person seeking probate of
20the will and upon such notice of the petition to persons
21interested as the court directs, may issue a commission with
22the will or a photographic copy thereof attached. The
23commission shall be directed to any judge, notary public,
24mayor or other chief magistrate of a city or United States

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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1party received as evidence under subsection 6-4(b), paragraphs
2(c) and (e) of Section 20-20 of the Electronic Wills and Remote
3Witnesses Act, or Section 20-25 of the Electronic Wills and
4Remote Witnesses Act, is admissible in evidence.
5    (d) The right to institute or continue a proceeding to
6contest the validity of a will survives and descends to the
7heir, legatee, representative, grantee or assignee of the
8person entitled to institute the proceeding.
9    (e) It is the duty of the representative to defend a
10proceeding to contest the validity of the will. The court may
11order the representative to defend the proceeding or prosecute
12an appeal from the judgment. If the representative fails or
13refuses to do so when ordered by the court, or if there is no
14representative then acting, the court, upon its motion or on
15application of any interested person, may appoint a special
16administrator to defend or appeal in his stead.
17    (f) An action to set aside or contest the validity of a
18revocable inter vivos trust agreement or declaration of trust
19to which a legacy is provided by the settlor's will which is
20admitted to probate shall be commenced within and not after
21the time to contest the validity of a will as provided in
22subsection (a) of this Section and Section 13-223 of the Code
23of Civil Procedure.
24    (g) This amendatory Act of 1995 applies to pending cases
25as well as cases commenced on or after its effective date.
26(Source: P.A. 89-364, eff. 8-18-95.)
 

 

 

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1    (755 ILCS 5/8-2)  (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 8-2)
2    Sec. 8-2. Contest of denial of admission of will to
3probate.
4    (a) Within 6 months after the entry of an order denying
5admission to probate of a domestic will in accordance with the
6provisions of Section 6-4 or Section 20-20 or 20-25 of the
7Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act, or of a foreign
8will in accordance with the provisions of Article VII of this
9Act, any interested person desiring to contest the denial of
10admission may file a petition to admit the will to probate in
11the proceeding for the administration of the decedent's estate
12or, if no proceeding is pending, in the court which denied
13admission of the will to probate. The petition must state the
14facts required to be stated in Section 6-2 or 6-20, whichever
15is applicable.
16    (b) The petitioner shall cause a copy of the petition to be
17mailed or delivered to the representative, to his or her
18attorney of record, and to each heir and legatee whose name is
19listed in the petition to admit the will to probate and in any
20amended petition filed in accordance with Section 6-11, at the
21address stated in the petition or amended petition. Filing a
22pleading constitutes a waiver of the mailing or delivery of
23the notice to the person filing the pleading. Failure to mail
24or deliver a copy of the petition to an heir or legatee does
25not extend the time within which a petition to admit the will

 

 

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

 

 

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

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