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Probate bonds provide financial protection to beneficiaries when the estate and assets of the deceased are managed by a fiduciary. Typically required for court-appointed fiduciaries, probate bonds protect beneficiaries by guaranteeing that the fiduciary follows through with their professional responsibilities.
What do probate bonds cover?
Probate bonds protect beneficiaries by offering a financial guarantee that estates and assets are properly managed and distributed by the fiduciary. Fiduciaries have control of someone else’s estate and assets and have many duties to perform during the probate process. If any of these are done incorrectly, it could result in a claim. Here is a list of things a probate bond ensures will be performed lawfully and ethically:
- Filing a will.
- Contacting beneficiaries.
- Verifying validity of a will.
- Appraising value of estate and assets.
- Paying debts still owed by the deceased.
- Locating and paying inheritances to beneficiaries.
How do probate bonds work?
Three parties are involved when it comes to probate bonds. First, the fiduciary takes out the bond for coverage if they fail to perform their duties. It also involves those protected by the bond, the beneficiaries. And finally, the surety bond company guarantees that the fiduciary will perform their duties lawfully and ethically. In the end, it’s about peace of mind for the beneficiaries that no matter what, the estate and assets of the deceased are properly managed and distributed.
Types of claims fiduciaries may face.
When dealing with the will and estate of the deceased, fiduciaries have many responsibilities while managing those finances. For example, if a fiduciary had the estate and assets inaccurately appraised, the beneficiaries could file a claim. Or, for instance, if a beneficiary was listed but was not contacted or paid inheritances, the fiduciary failed in their duties and could be held liable. Because of the high stakes involved in managing someone else’s estate and assets, having a probate bond gives beneficiaries peace of mind and protection.
What makes probate bonds unique.
Probate bonds differ from insurance coverage in several ways. Firstly, if a claim is made against the fiduciary, the surety bond company pays for the costs related to the claim. However, the fiduciary must pay them back in the same amount. Another thing that sets probate bonds apart is that they are for the most part required for court-appointed fiduciaries. They also cannot be closed or canceled unless the court orders it. In addition, there are different types of probate bonds depending on the type of fiduciary and the situation. For instance, this includes executors, trustees, administrators, personal representatives, guardians, conservators, curators, and custodians.
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