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As we noted in Part 1, a substantial revision of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is among the bills sent to governor Rauner this legislative session. The following is the second list of bills organized by topic, as originally published by the Illinois Bar Journal on www.isba.org.

PROBATE, ELDER LAW, and REAL ESTATE

Guardianship of minors. PA 99-207 (Hunter, D-Chicago; Currie, D-Chicago) requires the petitioner to give notice of the hearing on the petition for appointment of a standby guardian or a guardian of a minor not less than seven (instead of three) days before the hearing. Any order for removal must include the date of the removal, the reason for removal, and the proposed residential and mailing addresses of the minor after removal. Effective July 30, 2015.

Disabled adults. PA 99-70 (David Harris, R-Arlington Heights; Stadelman, D-Rockford) amends the Probate Act of 1975 to provide that a temporary guardian has the limited powers and duties (instead of “all of the powers and duties”) of a guardian of the person or of the estate that are specifically enumerated in the court order. Effective January 1, 2016.

Property fraud alert system. PA 99-75 (Greg Harris, D-Chicago; Cunningham, D-Chicago) provides that in a county that has a property-fraud alert system, a county recorder may create a registration form to register a property owner on the county’s property fraud alert system. A real estate professional may file the registration form with the recorder on behalf of a property owner. Real estate professionals must register with the county recorder before filing the registration forms on behalf of property owners. Effective January 1, 2016

Mortgage foreclosure. PA 99-24 (Mulroe, D-Chicago; Lang, D-Skokie) provides that a court is not required to appoint a special representative for a deceased mortgagor to defend the action if there is a (1) beneficiary under a transfer on death instrument, (2) person or entity that was conveyed title to the property by the deceased mortgagor prior to death, (3) person or entity that was conveyed title to the property under the administration of the deceased’s estate, or (4) trust that conveyed title to the property. Effective January 1, 2016.

Disabled adults. Senate Bill 90 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Breen, R-Lombard) creates a rebuttable presumption that a will or codicil is void if it was executed or modified after the testator is adjudicated disabled in two situations: (1) a plenary guardian has been appointed or (2) a limited guardian has been appointed and the court has found that the testator lacks testamentary capacity.

The rebuttable presumption is overcome by clear and convincing evidence that the testator had the capacity to execute the will or codicil, and it does not apply if the will or codicil was executed in compliance with a court order. This subsection applies only to wills or codicils executed or modified after the effective date of this act. Drop date August 27, 2015; effective January 1, 2016.

Trusts and Trustees Act. Senate Bill 1877 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; McAsey, D-Plainfield) authorizes trustees to use a “certification of trust” form that may be relied upon by third parties without obtaining a copy of the trust instrument. It is modeled after section 1013 of the Uniform Trust Code. Drop date August 24, 2015; effective immediately.

Elder abuse. House Bill 1588 (Thomas Bennett, R-Watseka; Barickman, R-Bloomington) expands the current civil cause of action for financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled by deleting the precursor of an indictment and the current limitation of sole remedy that requires a return of the property. Drop date August 27, 2015; effective January 1, 2016.

Citation to discover assets. PA 99-93 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria) expands the current statute’s reach to compel appearance before the court of any person whom the petitioner believes may be liable to the estate of a ward under any civil cause of action. Also expands the statute to include assets in the person’s possession or control or previously in the person’s possession or control. Effective January 1, 2016.

Health Care Power of Attorney. Senate Bill 159 (Haine, D-Alton; Williams, D-Chicago) provides the following: (1) A psychologist may not witness the signing of a health care agency and removes that current prohibition for “mental health providers.” (2) Adds an option on the short-form POA for a principal to select whether the agent can have access to the principal’s medical records and information. (3) Permits an agent to pursue applications for government benefits made during a principal’s lifetime if no administrator or executor is acting on behalf of the principal’s estate. (4) Adds an option allowing the principal to nominate the agent as the guardian of the principal’s person should one become necessary. (5) Provides that a physician may determine that the principal is unable to make health care decisions for himself or herself only if the principal lacks decisional capacity as that term is defined in the Health Care Surrogate Act. Drop date August 27, 2015; effective January 1, 2016.

Condominium Property Act. House Bill 2644 (Cassidy, D-Chicago; Steans, D-Chicago) makes it void as a matter of public policy if a provision in a condominium instrument purports to limit or restrict the representative rights of the board if it requires prior consent of the unit owners or requires arbitration or mediation of a dispute between the developer or one or more declarants under the condominium instruments. It also deletes language providing that a provision in a declaration that would otherwise be void and ineffective may be enforced if it is approved by a vote of not less than 75 percent of the unit owners at any time after the election of the first unit-owner board of managers. Drop date August 17, 2015; effective January 1, 2016.

Real estate claims in Cook County. Senate Bill 1487 (Cunningham, D-Chicago; Evans, D-Chicago) authorizes the Cook County Recorder of Deeds to establish a three-year pilot program that permits documents to be recorded against a property in foreclosure by judicial order only. It requires a judge to issue an order barring any “nonrecord claimants” from recording an interest on the foreclosed property without approval of the court. Exempts mechanics lien claimants and units of local government and a bank or financial institution that recorded the lis pendens notice of foreclosure. Drop date August 27, 2015; effective January 1, 2016.

Common-Interest Community Association Act. Senate Bill 1344 (Haine, D-Alton; Beiser, D-Alton) provides that no action to incorporate a common-interest community as a municipality may commence until an instrument agreeing to incorporation has been signed by 51 percent (instead of two-thirds) of the members. Drop date August 17, 2015; effective January 1, 2016.

Common-Interest Community Association Act. PA 99-41 (Hastings, D-Matteson; Kelly Burke, D-Oak Lawn) makes associations organized as limited liability companies subject to the Act. Effective July 14, 2015.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Boundary-line agreements. House Bill 2744 (Andersson, R-Geneva; McConnaughy, R-St. Charles) amends the Municipal Code to provide that it shall not be considered a “conflict” under the boundary-line provisions of the act if a municipality that is a party to a jurisdictional boundary-line agreement cedes property within its own jurisdiction to another municipality not a party to the same jurisdictional boundary-line agreement. Drop date August 17, 2015; effective immediately.

Municipal Code violations. House Bill 2745 (Andersson, R-Geneva; McConnaughy, R-St. Charles) creates an alternative proceeding if the time expires in which judicial review may be sought after a final determination of a code violation. If a defendant has failed to comply with a judgment to correct a code violation or pay a fine, any expenses incurred by a municipality to enforce the judgment is a debt due and owing the municipality by the defendant.

It also authorizes the municipality to impose a lien on the real estate or personal estate of the defendant in the amount of the debt. In addition, it permits a hearing officer to set aside any judgment entered by default and set a new hearing date if the hearing officer determines that the petitioner’s failure to appear was for good cause or because the municipality did not provide proper service of process. Drop date August 17, 2015; effective immediately.

Open Meetings Act – requests for review. House Bill 175 (McSweeney, R-Cary; Duffy, R-Barrington) creates what is essentially a statute of repose for requests for review to be filed with the Public Access Counselor. If the facts concerning the violation are not discovered within 60 days of the violation but are discovered at a later date by a person using reasonable diligence, the request must be made within two years from the alleged violation. Drop date August 27, 2015; effective immediately.

Open Meetings Act – school security exemption. House Bill 1498 (Thomas Bennett, R-Watseka; Koehler, D-Peoria) provides that a public body may hold closed meetings to consider school building safety and security. Drop date August 15, 2015; effective January 1, 2016.

County budgets. House Bill 2474 (Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove; Morrison, D-Deerfield) changes budgeting for counties not required by law to pass an annual appropriation bill within the first quarter of the fiscal year. It requires a budget to be made available for public inspection and provided to the public at a public meeting at least 15 days before final action taken on that budget. It also allows a county board to act at a public meeting to amend a budget after making that budget available to the public and before final adoption.

In addition, it requires notices pertaining to the budget meeting and the proposed budget to be posted on the county’s official website, if it maintains one. If a county does not maintain a website, it requires the county to comply with the Open Meetings Act in giving notice of such agenda items and make the proposed budget available for public inspection. Drop date August 17, 2015; effective January 1, 2016.

Collection of fines and penalties. PA 99-18 (Althoff, R-McHenry; Franks, D-Marengo) allows a default in the payment of a fine or penalty or any installment to be collected in any way that any other monetary judgment is collected. It also allows the state’s attorney to retain attorneys and private collection agents to collect them and their fees to be charged to the offender. Effective January 1, 2016.

Keep in mind that the governor must sign, veto, or amendatory veto a bill within 60 days of his receipt of it. The “drop date” is the 60-day deadline for each bill and is the date by which the governor must take action. If the governor takes no action on a bill by its drop date, it becomes effective by operation of law.

If you have any questions about how these new bills could affect you, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at McCarthy, Callas & Feeney P.C. at 309-788-2800. We would love to help you with your legal needs!

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