Probate Bonds are key tools for protecting property and people when a person passes away. Upon death, an individual's estate is handled through probate court.
Certain states require that a probate bond is secured to guarantee the performance of an estate's executors. These bonds are also often referred to as "executor bonds."
Who is required to purchase an probate bond?
In some states, the executor is required to purchase this bond.
The executor is the individual in charge of the deceased's estate, according to his or her will. If a person fails name an executor, the probate court appoints one.
This person is responsible for inventorying and protecting the assets of the estate; contacting beneficiaries and potential heirs; having the estate appraised and paying off debts; ensuring taxes are calculated and paid; and disbursing the assets.
Why require a probate bond?
These bonds help protect the estate and its beneficiaries from fraud, embezzlement or other illicit acts. Executors wield considerable power over finances, real estate and other significant holdings. Requiring a surety bond helps give family members, heirs and other stakeholders an avenue of recourse should the executor act in an improper or illegal fashion.
Some wills may stipulate that an executor bond is not required.
Where can I buy a probate bond and for how much?
These bonds can be expensive and time consuming to obtain. Probate bonds can be purchased from an insurance carrier, including Surety Bonds.com. The price varies depending on the value of the estate and the amount of any debt left by the estate.
Remember: If a probate bond is required, the estate cannot be processed until the proper bonding is obtained.