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Probate Bonds

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What is a Probate Bond?

These are court ordered bonds placed on the administrator of estates typically after a death  aka Court Bonds, Administrator Bonds, Estate Bonds, Loss Title, etc.

The administrator or executor is usually bonded which protects them from stealing from the estate they are to administer.

Thus, they protect the fiduciary’s ‘clients,’ as well as the state, from dishonest practices, such as fraud, embezzlement or misrepresentation.

Probate bonds work like an agreement between the obligees (the court and the person(s) the fiduciary acts on behalf of), the principal (the fiduciary) and the surety bond company.

How much does a Probate Bond cost?

The cost of probate bonds are calculated differently from the usual surety bond cost formulation. The principal’s personal credit score is less important than it is in other cases. Instead, other factors come into play, which relate to the specific court case, and the type of bond required.

In the case of fiduciary bonds, the probate court that handles the case sets the surety bond amount, in consideration of the size of the property or finances that will be handed to the fiduciary. The appointed person must then cover a percentage of the bond amount, called the bond premium. For fiduciary bonds, the usual rates are between 1% and 3% of the bond amount. Rates below 1% are not uncommon in cases of higher bond amounts asked by a probate court.

The cost of appeal bonds is formulated differently. These kinds of bonds require posting at least 100% collateral, which is set depending on the court case. Additionally, the appellant needs to pay a bond premium, which is also particular to the case.

Can I get a court bond with bad credit?

For most cases, bad credit bonding for Probate bonds is not possible. Depending on the type of probate bond that you need and the strength of your finances, you might be able to get the bond even with slightly problematic finances. However, major issues such as large tax liens, civil judgments or recent bankruptcies can make it extremely difficult to get approved.

If you are required to post an appeal bond, there is no option for bad credit bonding, as it is considered high risk bonding and a minimum 100% collateral is required.

As for fiduciary bonds, in some cases it might be possible to get bonded with bad credit, but only for applicants with minor financial problems.

Questions About Probate Bonds

Who needs to obtain Probate bonds?

A Probate bond may be required from a variety of individuals in different situations that all relate to court proceedings.

Anyone assigned to take care of another person’s property or finances may be required by a probate court to post a fiduciary bond. It guarantees that the caretaker will not take advantage of their position, and will perform their duties faithfully, according to the requirements of the court.

A person who wants to appeal a judgment to a higher court is often required to post an appeal bond before the appeal is made. The bond is needed in order to prevent misuse of the appellate system through insubstantial appeals, and to guarantee that the appellant will follow the initial court decision.

Are there different types of Probate Bonds?

There are two main types of probate bonds, but there are additional types and subtypes depending on the exact purpose of the bond. Each of them is described in detail below.

Fiduciary bonds

When probate courts appoint a fiduciary, they require this person to obtain a fiduciary bond.

A fiduciary is someone who has been chosen to manage the property, assets, or finances of a person who is deceased, disabled, or otherwise incapable of doing so by themselves.

Fiduciary bonds protect the persons whose property or assets are assigned to a fiduciary from any potentially dishonest practices. They guarantee the honest performance and conduct of the appointed fiduciary. In case there is a proven claim on any misconduct committed by the fiduciary, the affected parties can be compensated up to the penal sum of the bond.

Appeal bonds

A court might require an appellant to post an appeal bond– also known as a supersedes bond– before this person is allowed to appeal a court judgment.

The goal of appeal bonds is to regulate the flow of appeals to the appellate system, so that the option of making an appeal isn’t abused. They guarantee that appellants will follow the initial court ruling, and pay all due costs in case they lose the appeal.

Appeal bonds are considered high-risk, because of the uncertainty involved in court cases. Thus, they are not easily obtained by all applicants. An appellant needs to provide a minimum 100% collateral. If the person does not win the appeal, the claimant is reimbursed through this sum.

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