Probate Bonds

Do you need a probate bond, or “surety bond,” in your probate case? Or would it be ok for you to waive that requirement?  It’s really a loaded question and the purpose of this blog is only to let you know there are options.  So, to waive or not to waive that is the question….

– A bond is protection to create a fund in the case of an absconding Executor or Administrator. It’s like insurance.

– Some Courts require bonds no matter what. That is, some California probate Courts require $10,000 or $15,000 bonds in all probate cases. In those cases clearly you need to have a bond.  I would say that’s the minority of Courts though.

– Most Courts will allow all beneficiaries, or next of kin, to waive the requirement of a bond.

– If you are an only child, sole beneficiary or sole heir, then pretty clearly a bond is unnecessary.

– If you are an heir or beneficiary and you implicitly trust the Executor then you should probably waive the requirement of a bond. Having said that, sometimes people change after death when money is involved so waive bond carefully and with caution!

– There are options to a bond. There are options of using limited authority, Court ordered blocked accounts and other similar actions which create similar protection for all the heirs and beneficiaries.

If you have questions about any of these issues let me know.  -John

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