Court Bonds – Fiduciary (Probate) Bonds are interchangeable terms. These bonds are types of court bonds that are required when one person is appointed to act on behalf of another. Usually, this is for cases in which a person will be managing the affairs or finances of another person. This page outlines the most common types of probate bonds that are frequently requested for by a court.
Probate bonds are financial guarantees that protect the estate of a deceased person from mismanagement or fraud by the personal representative. The personal representative is the person responsible for administering the estate, which includes paying debts, collecting assets, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
There are several different types of Court Bonds – Fiduciary (Probate) Bonds, but the most common are:
The most common types of probate bonds are:
- Administrator bond: This bond is required of an administrator, who is appointed by the court to manage the estate of a deceased person who died without a will.
- Executor bond: This bond is required of an executor, who is named in the deceased person’s will to manage the estate.
- Conservatorship bond: This bond is required of a conservator, who is appointed by the court to manage the property and finances of a minor or incapacitated person.
- Trustee bond: This bond is required of a trustee, who is named in a trust to manage the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
Other types of probate bonds may be required in certain situations, such as:
- Special administrator bond: This bond is required of a special administrator, who is appointed by the court to manage the estate of a deceased person for a limited period of time, such as until a regular administrator is appointed.
- Guardian bond: This bond is required of a guardian, who is appointed by the court to manage the person and property of a minor child.
- Ancillary administrator bond: This bond is required of an ancillary administrator, who is appointed by a court in one state to manage the assets of a deceased person who owned property in that state but was domiciled in another state.
The amount of the probate bond is typically set by the court and is based on the value of the estate assets.
Probate bonds are an important safeguard for the beneficiaries of an estate. If the personal representative or trustee breaches their fiduciary duties, the beneficiaries can file a claim against the bond to recover their losses.
Underwriting Requirements to Obtain Probate Bonds
Generally, these items are required to get a probate/fiduciary bonds:
- An application for the bond, which you can submit here at Surety1.com.
- The court order or proposed court order, which specifies the bond amount.
- A copy of the will or trust, if you’ll be appointed to administer another person’s estate.
- Financial statements (for bonds over $100,000).
The surety company may require more or sometimes less information than listed above. Every case is different.
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For a more detailed bond description and additional information concerning other probate surety bonds, click here.