Executive Order From Governor Pritzker on Witnesses During Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation
On March 26, 2020, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-14 in response to Covid-19 (Covid-19 Executive Order No. 12). This Order relaxes some of the in-person interaction and requirements related to services of witnesses so that residents of Illinois can continue to make critical personal and business decisions and finalize planning documents.
Section 2 of the Order relates to any act of witnessing required by Illinois law and allows such witnessing to be completed remotely by two-way audio-video communication technology. Witnessing requires ten additional items to be met for the witnessing, and therefore the documents, to be valid. These items are as follows:
- The two-way audio-video communication technology must allow for direct, contemporaneous interaction between the Client and the witness(es) by sight and sound;
- The two-way audio-video communication technology must be (i) recorded and (ii) preserved by the Client or the Client’s designee for a period of at least (3) three years;
- Client must attest to being physically located in Illinois during the communication;
- Witness(es) must attest to being physically located in Illinois during the communication;
- Client must affirmatively state on the communication what document the Client is signing;
- Each page of the document being witnessed must be shown to the witness on the communication in a means clearly legible to the witness(es) and each page initialed by Client in the presence of the witness(es);
- Act of signing by the Client must be captured sufficiently up close on the communication for the witness(es) to observe;
- Client must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the entire signed document directly to the witness(es) no later than the day after the document is signed;
- Witness(es) must sign the transmitted copy of the document as a witness(es) and transmit the signed copy of the document back via fax or electronic means to the signatory within 24 hours of receipt; and
- If necessary, the witness(es) may sign the original signed document as of the date of the original execution by the Client provided that the witness(es) receive the original signed document together with the electronically witnessed copy with thirty (30) days from the date of remote witnessing.
If you would like more information on this new Executive Order, please contact us at 815-726-4311.