Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 22

Feature

An Introduction to

Probate Bonds
A Guide for Bond Producers and Other Surety Professionals

P R O B AT E
BONDS ARE
used to protect the ward
in a probate
estate, the
creditors of
the estate,
and the heirs
of an estate.
In
some
BY JEFFREY M. FRANK jurisdictions,
they are quite
common - so common that the courts
permit bond producers to have desks
at the courthouse to ease the process
of obtaining these bonds. In other
jurisdictions they are almost a foreign
concept and are rarely, if ever, ordered
as a condition of a fiduciary qualifying
and serving in a probate estate.
Probate bonds are often given very
little thought until things go terribly

22

wrong. It is then, in the event that
the court requires a bond as a condition for the fiduciary to serve, the
true purpose of that bond becomes
evident. Bond producers and other
surety professionals may not have
an in-depth understanding of probate
bonds and how they work, unless
those producers write a large volume
of them. This article is designed to
provide a general introduction to and
a broad overview of this important
commercial surety bond.
What types of probate bonds
can a court order?
In order to protect the assets of an
estate, courts can order probate
bonds in four general situations. In
each of these situations, the court
appoints a fiduciary, who is a person
with special responsibility of managing and protecting someone else's

SURETY BOND QUARTERLY | SUMMER 2015

property, to manage a probate estate
or trust.
First, there can be a bond to protect
the assets of those under a disability. This type of estate is commonly
referred to as a guardianship or conservatorship (depending on the jurisdiction). Here, the bond would protect the
assets of a minor, such as life insurance
proceeds, an inheritance, or the proceeds from a lawsuit, or the assets of
a legally incapacitated adult who, for
any variety of reasons, is no longer
able to manage his or her own assets.
Second, the court can require the
personal representative or executor
of a decedent's estate to obtain a
bond to protect the decedent's assets
in a decedent's estate. The personal
representative's duties are to collect
the assets, pay the decedent's creditors, and then distribute the remaining assets to the heirs.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015

NASBP Upcoming Meetings & Events
2015-2016 NASBP Executive Committee
From the CEO - There is Poetry in Surety Claims, Surely
Practical Insights: What You Need to Know - Hiding in Plain Sight: Specifications as a Source of Risk
Profile: President Susan Hecker
Developing Your Leadership Vision
Liability Issues - Can Public Owners be Held Liable to Subcontractors and Suppliers for Failure to Require General Contractors to Obtain Required Payment Bond?
An Introduction to Probate Bonds
Class Act - Surety Team’s Cooperative Efforts Enable School to Open on Time
NASBP’s Attorney Advisory Council - Participants Opine on Current Risk Management Challenges and Business Opportunities
The AIA Describes Updated and Expanded Design-Build Documents Family
Contractor Practices That may Result in Construction Claims to Recover for Delays and increased Costs
NASBP Annual Meeting Speakers - Veterans can benefit private sector, but need help finding jobs
Index to Advertisers
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - cover1
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - cover2
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 4
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 5
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 6
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 2015-2016 NASBP Executive Committee
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - From the CEO - There is Poetry in Surety Claims, Surely
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 9
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Practical Insights: What You Need to Know - Hiding in Plain Sight: Specifications as a Source of Risk
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 11
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Profile: President Susan Hecker
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 13
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Developing Your Leadership Vision
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 15
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Liability Issues - Can Public Owners be Held Liable to Subcontractors and Suppliers for Failure to Require General Contractors to Obtain Required Payment Bond?
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 17
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 18
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 19
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 20
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 21
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - An Introduction to Probate Bonds
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 23
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 24
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 25
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 26
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Class Act - Surety Team’s Cooperative Efforts Enable School to Open on Time
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 28
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 29
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - NASBP’s Attorney Advisory Council - Participants Opine on Current Risk Management Challenges and Business Opportunities
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 31
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - The AIA Describes Updated and Expanded Design-Build Documents Family
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 33
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Contractor Practices That may Result in Construction Claims to Recover for Delays and increased Costs
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 35
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - NASBP Annual Meeting Speakers - Veterans can benefit private sector, but need help finding jobs
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 37
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Index to Advertisers
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - cover3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - cover4
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - outsert1
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - outsert2
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 43
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 44
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