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Executor Bonds

What is an Executor Bond?

As the executor, you're named by a will to oversee the distribution of the will. In some cases the probate court may require you to purchase a surety bond called an executor bond.

An executor bond is a type of insurance contract acting as a financial guarantee that you'll execute your fiduciary duties as outlined in the will and distribute all assets appropriately.

When you purchase an executor bond, you're making this promise to the court and the individuals listed in the will.

How Much Does an Executor Bond Cost?

Executor Bond prices vary based on the bond amount and the applicant. Most bonds are priced starting from 0.5-1% of the bond amount. Request a free, no-obligation quote and one of our bond specialists will look at your specific circumstances.

You will need to provide a schedule of all assets and liabilities related to the probate matter as well as court documents.

The court should already have provided you with a formal request for a bond and a specific bond amount.

If you'd prefer to speak with one of our bond specialists, please call us at 1-800-608-9950. We can help guide you through the bonding process and identify the lowest cost in the market for your situation.

Why is an Executor Bond Required?

An executor bond is not always required by a probate court. The most common situations where a court may require an executor bond are:

  • The will is contested by family members or other parties listed in the will
  • The executor of the will is not a family member
  • The named executor has died
  • The named executor declines to serve as the executor
  • The estate is financially large in size (where size is determined by the judge)

What Does an Executor Bond Protect Against?

A bond protects the beneficiaries (called a testamentary beneficiary) of the will in the case where the executor purposefully alters the will's instructions.

Examples of purposeful misconduct and/or negligence are:

  • Misappropriating funds or assets
  • Withholding inheritances
  • Lying about estate assets
  • Hiding or omitting estate assets
  • Failing to notify a beneficiary
  • Underpaying a beneficiary
  • Falsifying liabilities
  • Charging inflated fees
  • Selling assets at below market value to third parties

If any of these acts of fraud or negligence are committed, the other beneficiaries of the will can make a claim against the executor bond for financial reimbursement, but only up to the value of the executor bond.

How Much Does an Executor Bond Cost?

The bond amount will be told to you by the judge overseeing the probate case.

This bond amount is not the cost to purchase the bond. Rather this is the amount of financial protection afforded to the other beneficiaries in the will.

The cost will be a small fraction of the amount. Before I give you examples of bond pricing, it’s good to understand who pays for an executor bond (any probate bond).

Who Pays For An Executor Bond?

It's one of the most common questions, who pays for a probate bond?

When an executor bond is required, in nearly every case, the money to purchase the bond typically comes from financial assets of the estate.

An executor bond is not typically paid for by the executor her/himself.

Executor Bond Price Examples

Most executor bonds will have a bond amount less than $150,000.

For these bonds a rate will be determined by a surety, the insurance company that underwrites probate bonds.

The good news is there is no credit check required for bonds under $150,000.

For bond amounts over $150,000, a credit check is required.

If you're unable to secure the executor bond due to poor or limited credit, the probate judge will have to appoint a new executor to the will.

Executor bond rate will commonly cost as little as 0.05% of the bond amount.

Here are some example prices based on this rate. Remember the price of a surety bond is:

Bond Amount x Rate = Price
Bond Amount Surety Bond Rate Price
$150,000 0.05% $750
$150,000 0.08% $1,200
$150,000 1.0% $1,500
$150,000 2.0% $3,000

How Long Is My Executor Bond Good For?

An executor bond is a continuous bond. This means it will renew on an annual basis as long as the renewal premium is paid.

The probate court process can take as little as a few months to multiple years depending on:

  • The complexity of the will
  • The size of the assets in the estate
  • Any disputes among the beneficiaries of the will
  • Whether an estate tax return is required

In some cases where the probate process completes in under a year you can let the bond expire but in general, you will get a release letter from the court and a copy of that release should be sent to the surety to release your financial obligation.

In other scenarios where probate may remain unsettled, the bond will have to be renewed as the expiration date nears.

Your bond specialist will contact you 30 to 45 days in advance to find out if you need to renew your bond. If this is the case, your bond specialist will help you obtain renewal pricing to keep the executor bond active.

Again, once the estate is settled you can let the bond expire or obtain a release letter provided by the judge.

Surety Bonds Direct will help you know when you need a release and when when you can let the bond expire.

What Happens After You Purchase Your Bond?

After you purchase the executor bond, our issuing department will prepare your bond with the correct signatures, seals, and a power of attorney.

Many probate courts require a physical copy of the original bond (with raised seals). In such cases we will have to mail it to you so you can physically sign it and submit it to the court.

Everything You Need to Know About Executor and Administrator Bonds

Everything You Need to Know About Executor and Administrator Bonds

To ensure that the executor or administrator’s obligations are carried out faithfully, probate courts often require executors and administrators to obtain special types of surety bonds.

Who Pays for a Probate Bond And How Much Do They Cost?

Who Pays for a Probate Bond And How Much Do They Cost?

Yes you do have to purchase the probate bond. But it's not what it seems. Learn why you have to buy one, where the money comes from, and how to save money!

What Is a Probate Bond?

What Is a Probate Bond?

Probate courts often require executors, administrators, trustees, and legal guardians to obtain surety bonds to ensure that appointed individual upholds her/his fiduciary responsibility.

What Is Probate Court?

What Is Probate Court?

Under which circumstances are probate bonds required? Are surety bonds always required?

Are court and probate surety bonds eligible for premium financing?

Are court and probate surety bonds eligible for premium financing?

Unfortunately, court and probate surety bonds are not eligible for premium financing.

What Is a Guardianship Bond?

What Is a Guardianship Bond?

We'll discuss the basics of guardianship bonds, including what a guardianship bond is, why many courts require guardianship bonds, and how much you can expect to pay when applying for a guardianship bond.

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