Wills and Supreme Court Rule 138

Monday, January 27, 2014 | Written by:

The matrimonial bar has been raising concerns about the privacy provisions of newly amended Supreme Court Rule 138 for some time. Central to their criticism is that the rule, though well-intentioned, seems to conflict with key statutory provisions and could put lawyers between a rock and a very hard place.

Turns out it isn’t just divorce lawyers who are feeling the squeeze. Northbrook attorney and ISBA member Julie Kolodzieg described a pressure point for estate planners. She noted that 755 ILCS 5/6-1 “says an original Will cannot be altered (alteration is a felony) and also requires the original Will to be filed with the Circuit Court clerk (failure to do so is also a felony)….Therefore we have a statute which requires a Will … to be filed with the court in unredacted form while at the same time having a duty under [Rule 138] to NOT file it unless under impoundment [because it contains personal identity information that must be omitted from the public record].”