If you’re handling an estate, you may be required to obtain a bond before the probate court will allow you to serve as executor or administrator. But, how does a probate bond work?
At first, the idea of a bond may seem unusual or even scary. In this article, we’ll look at what a probate bond is, where to get one, and how a probate bond works.
My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group.
At our firm we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored.
What Is A Probate Bond?
A bond in probate court works like an insurance policy.
It insures the beneficiaries or heirs of the estate against the risk that the executor or administrator could mismanage or intentionally harm the estate by misusing or taking estate property.
Where To Get A Probate Bond?
A bond in probate court is usually obtained from a commercial insurance agency.
Depending on the amount of the bond, the insurer may ask for a credit check, employment verification, and other information to determine whether it will underwrite the bond.
The amount of the bond will be set by the court. The bond is normally equal to the value of all non-real estate property. As the value of the estate increases, the more stringent the bond requirements become.
How Does A Probate Bond Work?
Since the bond works like an insurance policy, it would not pay anything out unless something bad happens in the estate.
For example, if the personal representative does not handle their responsibilities properly, the probate court judge has the authority to order the personal representative and bond company to pay for the harm.
Often, that means the bond will wind up paying for the harm initially.
Even if the bonding company is the one that pays, that doesn’t mean the bad acting executor or administrator is off the hook because the bond company will often pursue that person to recover the amounts paid out.
Everything discussed in this article is for general information and is not legal advice.
If you are in a situation where you need help settling an estate correctly, I recommend you reach out to our office at (770) 920-6030 to set up a consultation.
If you’re not quite ready for a consultation, be sure to download our Georgia Probate Handbook so you know how the estate is supposed to be handled.