Last Updated: November 30, 2020
What is a Probate Bond?
A probate bond is a type of fiduciary bond (also known as an executor’s bond) in a probate court estate. It is a court bond that is issued on the performance of an executor or administrator of an estate through the probate process. The purpose of the bond is to protect the beneficiaries or creditors of the estate from harm caused by the malfeasance or negligence of the executor or administrator.
A probate court bond is issued to administrators, executors, conservators and guardians in probate estates. These surety bonds are a type of fiduciary bond for the personal representative.
How Much does a Probate Bond Cost?
The cost of a probate fidelity bond can vary widely depending on the amount of coverage that is required. It is based on the total amount of the estate, including any real estate, that the personal representative has to oversee. The bond premiums are calculated per the table below. We work diligently to find the lowest premiums possible. Please call us today at (979) 314-2999. We’ll find you the very best rate possible.
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These rates are for Merit clients, Preferred rates are 0.5% and Standard rates are 0.8 to 1%
How do I get a Probate Bond (Estate Bond)?
We make it easy to get a probate bond. Just click here to get our Probate Application. Fill it out and then email it, along with the court documents requiring the bond, to [email protected] or fax to 855-433-4192.
Once we get the probate bond application back from you, we will process it. We typically have an answer within 24-48 hours. Once you get approved, we’ll let you know the exact fee. Then:
- You send us the fee
- You send us the ORIGINAL application (the one you emailed/faxed earlier)
- You send us a copy of the court documents requiring the bond
Then we’ll get the probate bond right out to you. Easy.
You can also call us at (979) 314-2999. We review each application for an executor bonds and then submit it to the surety that we believe will provide the best fidelity bond for your estate. They will perform a credit check. We have a high success rate in getting our clients probate estate bonds at the best rates possible.
I’m a Personal Representative – do I even need a Bond? I mean, what is an example of Malfeasance?
Let’s assume that your Uncle Larry was appointed as the personal representative (i.e., administrator) of your father’s estate. The probate estate consists of your family home, which is valued at $350,000. There are also several bank accounts worth several thousand dollars, a life insurance policy, two cars, a gun collection and plenty of sentimental items.
Unfortunately, your uncle Larry has money issues and is going through a divorce. So, instead of fulfilling his duties to you and your family through the probate process, he instead takes the life insurance proceeds, the gun collection and cleans out the bank accounts and leaves the country.
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How Does a Probate Bond Work in Court?
You may notice that many Wills that are drafted by attorneys waive the requirement of the bond. However, if the court bond is not waived by the Will, then a probate fiduciary bond is needed. The only way to then get away without a commercial bond will be if you 1) get all heirs to agree to waive the bond requirement; 2) whether there are any debts outstanding; and 3) whether the judge will allow for the waiver of the bond.
If you are unable to get an agreement by the heirs to waive the fidelity bond requirement, then you will have to get a court fiduciary bond. If there are substantial unsecured debts, then you’ll have to get the executors bond anyway. We have seen it goes both ways in whether a judge will agree to waive the executor bond requirement.
What is a Court Bond and How do I Get One?
A court bond is a bit different than a probate bond, described above. Instead, a Court Bond is generally a bond that is used for another court-specific purpose. A Court Surety Bond, also known as a judicial bond, protects one party from a loss. The most typical type of court bonds are:
- Indemnity Bonds (sheriff bond) – this protects the marshall from a lawsuit from the party whose assets are seized
- Cost Bonds – these guarantee the repayment of costs that are connected when a lower court’s decision is being appealed
- Plaintiff’s Bond – this guarantees a certain amount of damages that a party suffers if the action is held in favor of defendant
- Replevin Bonds – these guarantee that the property that was seized will remain in good condition and not disposed of or sold. It is a type of plaintiff’s bond.
- Attachment Bonds – A court can require these before property is seized in order to secure a judgment. A type of plaintiff’s bond.
- Appeal Bonds – a bond put up by a defendant to guarantee the damages already awarded by a lower court to the plaintiff.
Our Court Bond Application can be found here.