Fiduciary bonds, also referred to as probate bonds, are bonds issued in the interest to settle estates of deceased persons.
Nominal bonds are required by the probate court to be given by the Personal Representative of the estate of one who died without leaving a will. The bond is used to protect the deceased and beneficiaries from fraud or embezzlement of the estate or assets. The bond guarantees that the personal representative(s) will pay from the estate all debts due by the deceased, the inheritance tax, court costs and register’s fees.
The personal representative bond is required by the probate court to be given by the personal representative named in the will. The bond can be waived if the will states that the person appointed can serve without bond. The bond guarantees that the personal representative will handle and pay all claims and outstanding debts, pay funeral expenses, close out all various items such as discontinuing utilities and, credit cards, notification to social security, payment and submittal of income and estates taxes, and distribute the remaining property in accordance with the instructions outlined in the deceased’s will. Once the final accounting has been filed and approved by the court, the bond can then be cancelled. Generally it is strongly recommended that the personal representative hire a probate attorney to assist and provide guidance through this process.
Guardian bonds are required by court appointed individuals to administer the estate of a minor or incompetent. Annual accounting of the estate is required to be filed with the court. The bond remains filed with the court until the minor reaches legal age and/or is deceased.
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