By Ben A. Neiburger, Attorney, Generation Law

The Illinois General Assembly will conclude its 103rd General Assembly session on May 31, 2023. Below are summaries of the new laws relevant to elder care and estate planning that have been passed by the House and Senate.  If Governor Pritzker signs these bills, they will become law with the effective dates noted below.

This summary was written with one week remaining in the legislative session. Therefore, it is possible that additional bills may still be passed by both chambers.  If that happens, we will update this post as needed. (Edit on 7-13-23:  We have posted the update here)

I. Amendment to Senate Bill 1508

Amends the Illinois Lottery Law
  • Provides that the Department of the Lottery shall offer a joint special instant scratch-off game for the benefit of the special causes of:
    – The Carolyn Adams Ticket For The Cure
    – The Scratch-off for Illinois veterans
    – The Scratch-out Multiple Sclerosis scratch-off game
    – The Quality of Life scratch-off game
    – The Go For The Gold scratch-off game
    – The Scratch-off for State police memorials
    – The Scratch-off for homelessness prevention programs
    – The Scratch-off for Alzheimer’s care, support, education, and awareness
    – The Scratch-off for United Negro College Fund Illinois
    – The Illinois DREAM scratch-off.

Effective immediately.

This means you can gamble and benefit 10 different causes including Alzheimer’s care, support, and education at the same time (or you can give to the Alzheimer’s Association directly through the Chicago Marathon fundraising that Melissa Johnson is doing). No gamble there at all.

II.  ABLE Account Program (SB 2247)

Amends the State Treasurer Act
  • Provides that any entity may make contributions to an ABLE account.
  • Makes changes concerning privacy of ABLE account information.
  • Provides that the ABLE Account Program may also be referred to as the Senator Scott Bennett ABLE Program.

Effective immediately.

ABLE accounts are a type of saving account for those who become disabled before age 46. These accounts are simple to set up and can be used in conjunction with special needs trusts to provide extras for those who are disabled and who receive Medicaid or SSI benefits.

III.  Adult Protective Services (HB 2858)

Amends the Adult Protective Services Act
  • Excludes from the definition of “mandated reporter” the State Long Term Care Ombudsman and the Ombudsman’s representatives or volunteers when such persons are prohibited from making a report under a federal regulation.

IV.  Probate-Guardian Appointment (SB 195)

Amends the Probate Act of 1975
  • Provides that no petition for the appointment of a guardian of a minor shall be filed if the primary purpose of the filing is to reduce the financial resources available to the minor in order to cause the minor to qualify for public or private financial assistance from an educational institution.
  • Allows the court to deny such a petition if it finds that the primary purpose of the filing is to enable the minor to declare financial independence so that the minor may obtain public or private financial assistance from an educational institution or a State or federal student financial aid program.

This legislation responds to the scandal in which people were obtaining guardianship of other people’s children (with consent) so that those children could benefit from means based scholarship opportunities.

V.  Nursing Homes-Resident Consent (SB 1497)

Amends the Nursing Home Care Act
  • Provides that “emergency” means a situation, physical condition, or one or more practices, methods, or operations that present imminent danger of death or serious physical or mental harm to residents of a facility and that are clinically documented in the resident’s medical record (rather than only a situation, physical condition or one or more practices, methods or operations that present imminent danger of death or serious physical or mental harm to residents of a facility).
  • Requires the need for positioning devices to be demonstrated and documented in the resident’s care plan.
  • Requires that assessment to be revisited in every comprehensive assessment of the resident.
  • Provides that psychotropic medication shall be administered to a resident only if clinical documentation in the resident’s medical record supports the benefit of the psychotropic medication over contraindications related to other prescribed medications and supports the diagnosis of the resident.
  • Provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a resident is in a state of emergency, the emergency shall be clinically documented in the resident’s medical record.

VI.  Probate-Executor (HB 1268)

Amends the Probate Act of 1975
  • Provides that a person who has been convicted of a felony is qualified to act as an executor if:
    (i) the testator names that person as an executor and expressly acknowledges in the will that the testator is aware that the person has been convicted of a felony; and
    (ii) the person is otherwise qualified to act as an executor.

VII.  Electronic Nontestamentary Estate Docs (HB 2269)

Amends the Electronic Wills and Remote Witnesses Act
  • Changes the short title of the Act to the Electronic Wills, Electronic Estate Planning Documents, and Remote Witnesses Act.
  • Defines “electronic”, “information”, “nontestamentary estate planning document”, “person”, “record”, “security procedure”, “settlor”, “sign”, “state”, “terms of trust”, “trust instrument”, and “will”.
Creates the Electronic Nontestamentary Estate Planning Documents Article
  • Sets forth provisions related to: construction; scope; principles of law and equity; use of an electronic record or signature; recognition of an electronic nontestamentary estate planning document and electronic signature; attribution and effect of an electronic record and electronic signature; notarization and acknowledgment; witnessing and attestation; retention of an electronic record; certification of a paper copy; admissibility in evidence; relation to the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act; application; and severability.
Makes conforming changes in the Probate Act of 1975

Effective January 1, 2024.

This is a big deal. The legislation will permit people to electronically sign beneficiary forms.

VIII.  Long Term Care Ombudsman Info (HB 1156)

Amends the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act, the Life Care Facilities Act, the Nursing Home Care Act, the MC/DD Act, and the ID/DD Community Care Act
  • Provides that establishments or facilities licensed under the Acts shall post on the home page of the licensed establishment’s or facility’s website specified information about the Department on Aging’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.
  • Provides that an establishment or facility may comply with the provisions by posting the required information on the website of its parent company if the establishment does not maintain a unique website and is not required to comply with the provisions if the establishment or facility and any parent company do not maintain a website.
  • Contains other provisions.

Effective January 1, 2024.

IX.  Distressed Facility Criteria (HB 2076)

Amends the Nursing Home Care Act
  • Requires the Department of Public Health to adopt criteria, by rule, to identify distressed facilities and to publish a list of distressed facilities quarterly.
  • Provides that no facility shall be identified as a distressed facility unless it has committed a violation or deficiency that has harmed a resident.
  • Removes existing language requiring the Department of Public Health to generate and publish quarterly a list of distressed facilities based on specified criteria.

X.  Crim Cd-Elder Abuse-Exploit (HB 2100)

Amends the Criminal Code of 2012
  • In the statute concerning abuse or criminal neglect of a long term care facility resident, changes references to “an elderly person’s or person with a disability’s life” to references to “a resident’s life”.
  • In the statute concerning financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability, provides that a person who violates the provisions is guilty of a Class 1 felony if the elderly person is 70 years of age or older (instead of “over 70 years of age”) and the value of the property is $15,000 or more.