What is a Probate Bond in Pennsylvania?
A probate bond is a type of fiduciary bond (also known as an executor’s bond) in a probate court estate. It is a Pennsylvania state court bond that is issued on the performance of an executor or administrator of an estate. 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.
In Pennsylvania, a probate court bond is issued to administrators, executors, conservators and guardians in probate estates.
How Much does a Probate Bond Cost in Pennsylvania?
The cost of a probate 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 fiduciary has to oversee. The bond premiums are normally calculated at one-half of one percent (0.5%), which is equal to $500 for every $100,000 of estate assets. We work diligently to find the lowest premiums possible in the state of Pennsylvania. 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 Estate Bond in Pennsylvania?
We make it easy to get a probate bond. Just click here to get our Pennsylvania Probate Application. Fill it out and then email it and the Pennsylvania probate court documents to [email protected] or fax to 866-594-2771.
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.
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Why do I need a Bond? I mean, what is an example of Malfeasance?
Let’s assume that your Uncle Larry was appointed as the administrator of your father’s estate. The 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, he instead takes the life insurance proceeds, the gun collection and cleans out the bank accounts and leaves the country.
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 bond will be if you 1) whether all heirs can 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 bond, 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. Usually a judge will agree to waiver the administrator bond requirement.
Who Gets the Bond?
The personal representative, executor or administrator of the estate, must qualify for a bond. Qualification depends on the representative’s net worth and creditworthiness. Personal representatives who do not qualify could still find a solution if their attorney maintains control over the estate account.
When the will does not waive a bond or the personal representative resides out of Pennsylvania, a request for a waiver of bond to the court must include a declaration that states:
- The number of unsecured creditors of the estate and the estimated liability to them
- All estimated tax liabilities
- The amount of any known contingent liabilities
- Whether the estate is solvent
- The due diligence performed to establish the above information
What is a Court Bond in Pennsylvania 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
Click here for our Court Bond Application.
We provide probate bonds in each of the following counties:
See our Rhode Island probate bond page here.