Planning an estate isn’t an easy process. There’s a lot to consider, which is why it’s always advisable to work with an attorney. One of the things you and your friends and family may need to prepare for is obtaining the right surety bonds to go along with your estate. Depending on how it is structured and the state in which you reside, there may be certain surety bonds that you have to acquire.
These are the most common bonds in the estate planning process.
Personal Representative Bonds
A personal representative is the person whose duty it is to compile all assets and understand the outstanding bills and debts of the estate after a person has passed away. A personal representative bond protects the estate and its beneficiaries should the personal representative fail to carry out the duties assigned to them, which can include paying creditors and distributing the remaining assets to the estate heirs.
If any of the beneficiaries of the estate are unable to make financial decisions on their own (or are a minor), the court may require that a conservatorship be set up. Conservators are in charge of managing the assets of a person who is subject to the conservatorship (see a full list of the duties they can be assigned here). Conservatorship bonds provide protection should the conservator be unable to carry out their assigned duties.
When a person forms a trust, they generally choose someone to administer their assets based on the rules written into the trust. This person is known as the trustee. It’s a trustee’s job to manage property or assets while fulfilling the terms of the trust. Like other fiduciary bonds, trustee bonds provide protection should the trustee fail to carry out their responsibilities.
Special Administrator Bonds
There are times where a short term personal representative is appointed to collect assets for an estate before a more permanent personal representative is appointed. Courts can ask for this in certain situations because special administrators can help preserve or save assets. Administrator bonds provide protection should the special administrator not properly use and disburse the estate according to law.
Probate is the legal process of a state that governs how a deceased person’s assets can be distributed. A probate bond, also known as a fiduciary bond, executor bond, or estate bond, ensures that a fiduciary will fulfill the duties required of them as an appointed official. This helps protect the beneficiaries of an estate, will, or trust after a person has passed away.
There are many surety bonds that help in the estate planning process. We can help you find the right ones based on your will or estate. Get in touch with the surety experts at The Patrick K. Thomas Agency today.