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New Illinois law allows some felons to serve as executors

Photo caption: Illinois state Sen. Adriane Johnson, D-Buffalo Grove, during debate on the Senate floor (source:

A new Illinois law allows some individuals who had previously been convicted of a felony to be able to serve as executors for someone else’s estate.

As signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, House Bill 1268 amends the Probate Act of 1975, which prohibited a convicted felon from serving as an executor, and will require the person who is the owner of the estate to acknowledge that they are aware that the person named executor is a convicted felon. 

The bill was passed by the Illinois Senate in May by way of a 43-8 vote before being sent to Pritzker in June.

Sponsor of the bill, state Sen. Adriane Johnson, D-Buffalo Grove, said during Senate debates that someone who has committed a felony and served their time should be allowed to help their families. 

“If we believe in rehabilitation and that they are truly fully free, that we remove the invisible handcuffs and jail cells and allow them to take care of the matters of something as important as serving as executor of a loved one’s estate,” Johnson said. 

Those who have been picked to serve as an executor after being incarcerated due to a felony must be at least 18 years old, a resident of the United States, have been deemed to be not of unsound mind or have a disability. 

State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, argued against the measure and questioned the precautions that are in place to ensure people are not being taken advantage of. 

“I am not convinced that the safety standards would be in place to ensure that the person is making a rational decision here,” McClure said during debate.

The measure excludes felons convicted of financial crimes and crimes related to the elderly or those with disabilities and those who have been convicted of a similar crime in separate state or federal court. 

The legislation goes into effect immediately.

This article originally appeared on The Center Square.

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