SB1596 EngrossedLRB099 06862 AWJ 26940 b

1    AN ACT concerning local government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Counties Code is amended by adding Section
53-5048 as follows:
6    (55 ILCS 5/3-5048 new)
7    Sec. 3-5048. Will repository.
8    (a) As used in this Section:
9    "Depositor" means an attorney licensed or formerly
10licensed to practice in the State of Illinois, the attorney's
11representative, the guardian for the attorney, the personal
12representative of the attorney's decedent's estate, or the
14    "Depositor affidavit" means an affidavit signed by a
15non-testator in which the depositor affirms he or she is
16authorized to submit a registration form and will for scanning
17on behalf of the testator.
18    "Testator" means a person who executed a will, other than
19as a witness or official to whom acknowledgment of signing was
21    "Will" refers to an original:
22        (1) will;
23        (2) codicil;



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1        (3) will and one or more codicils;
2        (4) trust;
3        (5) trust and one or more trust amendments; or
4        (6) any other attachments, addendums, or other related
5    documents to items (1) through (5).
6    (b) If a county recorder's office maintains a computer
7system with the capability of scanning and securely storing
8electronic image files and corresponding index information,
9the county recorder may implement a county will repository
10pursuant to this Section to privately store electronic copies
11of wills. If a county recorder implements a will repository,
12they shall create a registration form to be signed by the
13testator which:
14        (1) states the testator's full first, middle, and last
15    name and all previous names by which the testator may have
16    been known;
17        (2) states the testator's date of birth and last four
18    digits of the testator's Social Security number;
19        (3) states the testator's current address;
20        (4) affirms that the document being presented to the
21    county recorder is the testator's will;
22        (5) lists the full names of up to 10 individuals to
23    whom the county recorder is authorized to deliver the will
24    upon the death of the testator and a space to indicate if
25    there are additional names attached. The county recorder
26    shall prepare a form addendum for attachment to the



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1    registration form for the testator to list additional full
2    names in addition to the 10 individuals listed on the
3    registration form. The addendum shall contain a disclaimer
4    that only individuals listed on the registration form or
5    addendum are eligible to retrieve a copy of the will
6    without a court order;
7        (6) has a section reserved for county recorder office
8    staff where the employee accepting the document will write
9    the name of the testator, name of the depositor, date of
10    deposit, confirmation that photo identification was
11    inspected, and a space to indicate the employee name or
12    identification number;
13        (7) has a blank 3 inch by 5 inch section in the upper
14    right corner of the front side to affix a unique document
15    number, date and time of deposit, and amount of recording
16    fee; and
17        (8) has the option to include the location of the
18    original signed copy of the will.
19    (c) If a county has created a will repository, a depositor
20may present a will for scanning into the will repository if he
21or she presents a signed and completed registration form as
22described in subsection (b). If a depositor is not the
23testator, the county recorder may require proof of authority to
24register the will for scanning including requiring a depositor
25affidavit to be completed. A will shall only be accepted for
26scanning if it is the original signed will.



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1    (d) The county recorder shall collect a fee of $25 for each
2scanning of a will of up to 10 pages and may charge an
3additional $1 for each page above 10 pages. The registration
4form and depositor affidavit, if any, shall not be counted when
5determining the page count for determining fees. The county
6recorder shall not collect a separate fee for additional
7documents concurrently deposited in relation to a single
8testator or for a single joint will prepared for a husband and
9wife. Fees collected under this subsection shall be deposited
10into the recorder's document storage fund as set up by the
11county treasurer pursuant to Section 3-5018 of the Counties
13    (e) Upon receipt of a will under this Section, the county
14recorder shall:
15        (1) provide the depositor with a receipt for the
16    registration form and will listing the date and time of
17    filing and the unique document number assigned to the
18    documents;
19        (2) scan in, electronically store, and electronically
20    affix a unique document number, date and time of deposit,
21    and amount of recording fee in the upper right corner of
22    the registration form;
23        (3) scan in and electronically store a copy of the
24    depositor affidavit and will including electronically
25    affixing the unique document number and date of recording
26    on each page of the will;



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1        (4) return the original signed registration form,
2    depositor affidavit, and will to the depositor after
3    scanning in and electronically storing the registration
4    form, depositor affidavit, and will pursuant to items (2)
5    and (3) of this subsection;
6        (5) index the will alphabetically by the name of the
7    testator, by the previous names by which the testator may
8    have been known, by the date of registration of the will,
9    by the names of persons on the registration form or
10    addendum who are eligible to retrieve a copy, and by the
11    unique document number; and
12        (6) upon request and payment of the recorder's
13    non-certified copy charge, provide to the testator a
14    non-certified copy of the registration form, depositor
15    affidavit, and will with the electronically affixed unique
16    document number with a maximum fee of $1 per page.
17    (f) A registration form, depositor affidavit, and will
18scanned or executed under this Section are not public records.
19The indexes created under item (5) of subsection (e) are not
20public records.
21    (g) During the testator's lifetime, the county recorder
23        (1) keep the electronic images of the registration
24    form, depositor affidavit, and will in a secure database
25    not available to the public with access limited to recorder
26    office staff necessary for the operation of the repository;



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1    and
2        (2) deliver a certified copy upon request to:
3            (i) the testator;
4            (ii) a person authorized by the testator, in a
5        writing other than the registration form or addendum,
6        to receive a copy of the will; or
7            (iii) a person, entity, court, or government
8        agency authorized to receive a certified copy pursuant
9        to an order entered by a court of competent
10        jurisdiction.
11    (h) If the county recorder has custody of a scanned copy of
12the will after the death of the testator and is notified of the
13death of the testator by a person to whom the recorder is
14authorized to deliver a copy of the will in the registration
15form by presenting a certified copy of the testator's death
16certificate or by a certified copy of an order of court
17determining the testator to be deceased, upon receipt of
18payment of the recorder's fee for certified copies, the county
19recorder shall promptly deliver a certified copy to the person
20or clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the
21probate of the testator's will may occur as determined under
22Section 5-1 of the Probate Act of 1975. Copies of the
23registration form or depositor affidavit shall not be provided
24to any retriever unless so ordered by a court.
25    (i) Upon inquiry by a person or entity identified in
26paragraph (2) of subsection (g) or upon inquiry of any person



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1presenting a certified copy of an order of a court requesting
2documents scanned under this Section, the county recorder shall
3inform the person whether the name of the relevant testator
4appears in the county recorder's index of the will repository.
5If an inquiry is made for a testator that is not found in the
6database, or if the inquiry is made by someone not listed as
7eligible to retrieve a copy, the recorder's office staff may
8not confirm or deny the existence of documents held under this
10    (j) The county recorder may destroy the scanned copy of the
11registration form, depositor affidavit, and will scanned under
12this Section if:
13        (1) the county recorder has not received notice of the
14    death of the testator; and
15        (2) at least 100 years have passed since the date the
16    will was scanned into the repository.
17    (k) The county recorder may use fees generated under this
18Section for the operational expenses of the will repository and
19for advertising the will repository.
20    (l) If a testator desires to remove a will from the will
21repository, or to replace a will, he or she must fill out a
22removal affidavit proscribed by the recorder's office that
23affirms his or her desire to remove the will and provide
24satisfactory identification to confirm he or she is the
25testator. If the request is to replace a will with a new will,
26the scanned copy of the will must first be removed using a



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1removal affidavit and the testator or depositor must submit a
2new registration form and will following the repository
3guidelines as described in this Section and pay the required
4fees. There shall be no fee for removing a will scanned under
5this Section.
6    (m) Recorder office staff may refuse, without liability, to
7store a copy of a will if the will presented for scanning is
8illegible, unable to be imaged, if margins are too small for
9the unique document number or date to appear on each page, or
10the will appears to not be an original signed document. Wills
11to be scanned under this Section must be submitted in person
12and may not be submitted by electronic means. Recorder office
13staff may not be held liable, either in their personal or
14official capacities, for any error or omission in the
15performance of duties related to this Section except for
16willful or wanton misconduct.
17    (n) Recorder office staff may request to inspect and copy
18any identification documents deemed necessary to prove the
19identity of anyone seeking to register or retrieve a copy of a
20document under this Section and may refuse service until
21satisfactory determination of identity is made.
22    (o) Registration forms, depositor affidavits, and wills
23scanned under this Section are exempt from State and county
24fees related to the Rental Housing Support Program Act.