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Using probate bonds

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Many jurisdictions across the United States require fiduciaries to have probate bonds. A fiduciary is a person who has an obligation to act for another’s benefit, specifically when it comes to management and protection of another person’s property and money. 

What are probate bonds? According to OxBonding, there are many types of fiduciary bonds. The first type includes administrators, executors and personal representatives. These bonds are required when a fiduciary is administering the estates of deceased individuals. Once all of the duties have been completed, the judge will order a discharge of the case, which allows the closing of the bond. Another type of fiduciary bond is guardian, conservator of minors, or incapacitated persons. These bonds are only for living wards. These are needed if there is an adult that is mentally or physically unable to care for their own finances or if a minor child has assets that need managed until they reach maturity 

What is the required bond amount? Specific bond requirements are determined on a state by state basis and enforced by the judges of the court. According to Surety Bonds, agents have the authority to issue clean probate bonds up to $200,000 without seeking pre-approval from their underwriter. Beyond this amount or if the circumstances of the case are questionable, submission should be sent in for underwriting before issuing. Circumstances to send the request in for underwriting include no attorney involvement, disputes among interested parties, ongoing business of the estate, the ward is younger than 55, perpetual trust pending lawsuits or if the date of appointment is greater than six months.