CHICAGO –To allow technology a bigger role in estate planning and address public health concerns during the ongoing pandemic, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, recently supported legislation that will legalize electronic wills that were signed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to this virus, thousands across our country had to endure their final days in isolation unable to hold or be near their loved ones,” said Slaughter. “In the face of these unprecedented challenges, our government has had to make changes to the law to allow families to go ahead with estate planning during the pandemic.”
Senate Bill 730, which was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, authorizes the use of remote witnesses, testators, signing and notarization in the will process. Remote witnesses and notaries cannot sign for the testator, but testators may provide or authorize another entity to electronically sign the will. This legislation seeks to address concerns about the spread of COVID-19 between the dying and witnesses and notaries.
“Although we have made immense progress in the past few months with vaccinations and fighting this virus, it’s still not over,” said Slaughter. “However, I know that if we each continue to do our parts by vaccinating, masking up and social distancing that we can and will make out of this mess together.”