We hope you and your families are safe and well! We would like to welcome our new lobbyist team David Stricklin, Susanne Hack and Norma Fuentes to Illinois NAELA.
Here are five pieces of legislation, among the hundreds that we have examined that the legislative subcommittee of Illinois NAELA are tracking closely and have in some instances even suggested input with the bill sponsors.
Notwithstanding our update to you of this pending legislation, please be aware the legislature has cancelled the next two weeks of session and no legislative activity is scheduled at present. However, when the General Assembly reconvenes, it is our understanding that only the most pressing issues will be considered.
Funerals: House Bill 5158- The Legislative Committee has been working behind the scenes for a several years on this issue. This bill provides that DHS exclude from consideration when determining a person's eligibility for aid, a prepaid guaranteed price funeral or burial contract funded by an irrevocable assignment of a person's life insurance policy to a trust. It also states that the trust/ insurance company must acknowledge the irrevocable assignment of benefits under the insurance policy within 30 days after the insurance company receives irrevocable assignment; it also provides that an applicant with a life insurance policy may still be able to irrevocably assign funeral goods and services or purchase a prepaid burial contract after applying for Medicaid until a final determination of eligibility has been made by HFS.
Illinois Trust Code: Senate Bill 221- this is a trailer bill that will clean up some irregularities that are members of found with various items such as the acknowledgment in the new ITC pertaining to as the creation of special needs trusts through the court system in addition to first and third parties, and several other issues. The legislative committee has been attending meetings regarding the trailer bill.
Electronic Notary: Senate Bill 3639- Illinois Legislative Committee has been closely working with this task force for over a year. As you all know, Temporary Executive Order #14 has addressed this issue, but permanent legislation is still pending. Prior to the proposed executive order there was discussion in our committee that contained provisions for electronic notarization, the committee has raised several concerns and continues to monitor closely.
Attorney Malpractice: Senate Bill 3351 which amends the Code of Civil Procedure and provides that an attorney malpractice action in which the injury did not occur until the death of the person for whom the professional services were rendered (quite often the case for estate planning and Elder law attorneys) may not be commenced in any event more than six years after the date the professional services were performed.
Mandated Reporter: Senate Bill 3852- This amends the Adult Protective Services Act and expands the definition of mandated reporter to include a person who performs the duties of a banker, broker, investor, investment advisor, attorney, financial consultant or financial advisor, broker – dealer, or administrator, regulator, or supervisor of any of the foregoing. Illinois NAELA can support this legislation IF the mandatory reporting requirement pertaining to attorneys is deleted from this legislation. Requiring attorneys to be mandatory reporters flies in the face of our ethical rules relating to confidentiality and violates the provisions under attorney-client privilege.
In addition, these legislative initiatives, we have become aware of 1115 and 1135 waivers issued to the state of Illinois by CMS. More to come on these waivers in a separate email.