When an individual dies, that person has most likely left property and assets to be distributed. This property is referred to as an estate. Frequently, another person will oversee the distribution of the property and assets to the heirs of the estate. In order to provide certain protections to the heirs of the estate, this person must post a probate bond. Following is a discussion of when probate bonds are required, what the bonds are, how the bonds provide protection and the different types of probate bonds available.
When a person passes away, that person may have left a last will and testament which appoints an executor. The executor is a person who handles the administration of a last will and testament, including all property and asset distributions in accordance with the will. The process by which a will is filed with the court is called probate. In the event that a person dies without a will, the court will appoint an administrator to oversee the distribution of the property. In either instance, the court can require a probate bond to be filed by the executor or administrator. A probate bond is a type of financial instrument that is frequently required when a person is appointed as the executor of an estate.
A probate bond is a financial instrument which provides a safeguard that the executor will distribute property and assets in accordance with the wishes in someone’s will, or, if there is no will, in accordance with the particular laws of the jurisdiction. The probate bond is similar to collateral. In other words, money is put up to insure that the executor or administrator will perform his duties in good faith.
Probate Bond Protection
Generally, a probate bond protects the heirs of an estate. A probate bond provides protection against misrepresentation, fraudulent acts, errors, negligence and theft by the executor or administrator of the estate until the probate process is completed and the property has been distributed to the heirs of the estate.
Amount of Probate Bond
In the event a probate bond is required, the bond must be for a specified sum. In the event that an executor is required to post a bond pursuant to a last will and testament, the will may indicate the amount. In the event the will does not indicate an amount, the court will specify the amount of the bond. If there is no will and an administrator is appointed, the court will then indicate the amount of the probate bond. This amount varies by the particular jurisdiction and the particular judge setting the amount.
Types of Probate Bond
While there are standard probate bonds, there are also other types of bonds utilized in connection with the probate of a will. Where there is an executor, the bond is referred to as a probate bond. In instances where there is an administrator, the bond is called an administrator’s bond. Conservator bonds, guardian bonds and trustee bonds are also other types of bonds frequently considered as probate bonds when utilized in accordance with the probate of an estate.