Probate Bond – Why It Is a Good Idea

The execution of a will is fraught with many scenarios and ensuring that a fair execution happens is very important. A probate bond ensures that the wishes of the deceased as communicated in his or her will are implemented in an ethical manner. If there were to be a case of dishonesty or fraud, the probate bond assures that the ones who are affected get the due reimbursement.

Understanding the Probate Process

The probate process entails many details and includes the following points:

  • Presentation of the will to the concerned court
  • Assembling and appraisal of the deceased person’s assets
  • Payment of pending debts that were owed by the will owner/deceased
  • Remittance of the necessary property and estate taxes
  • Funeral costs
  • Distribution of the assets

The Fiduciary Role

At the helm of all this activity is the fiduciary, a person, usually of the law who has the authority and responsibility to execute the deceased’s will. The probate bond ensures that the appointed fiduciary will execute the will, court order or trust according to state legal requirements. A fiduciary could be a guardian, executor, conservator or administrator.

The Requirement

Wills usually mention whether a probate bond is required or not. If the will of the deceased clearly states that a probate bond is required for execution of all that is conveyed in it, then the appointed fiduciary cannot skip this important pre-requisite. At times wills do not mention whether a probate bond is a requirement. In this scenario it is always prudent to reach out to a third party and analyse the situation to determine whether a probate bond is a right choice. As an example, if you are a potential beneficiary of a will but live some physical distance away from the property or assets, it is always wise to opt for a probate bond.

The Nomenclature

There are many types of probate bonds, but these are mainly termed to determine the duties involved. All probate bonds essentially are the same. Some of the terms you may come across include personal representative bond, conservatorship bond, administrator bond, executor of court bond, trustee bond and estate of court bond.

How it Works

A probate bond protects the beneficiaries of a will. If the fiduciary in this relationship fails to comply with the laws of the land and does not fully execute the trust, will or court order, a claim can be made against the bond.

Costs Involved

The cost of a probate bond is dependent on the coverage required. The fee can start from around $125 for a bond amount of less than $20,000 to a .5% fee on large amounts exceeding $50,000.

Getting an estate or probate bond is not a complicated process and you can get it done easily with some basic guidance. Learn more about the probate bond process and ensure that all your requirements are being taken into consideration. Information is power, and when there is a lot at stake, the more informed you are, the better.

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