What are personal representative bonds?
A personal representative bond is a type of fiduciary bond that guarantees the bondholder (personal representative/PR) carries out specific duties according to a decedent’s will. Or, if a decedent dies without a will (intestate), the PR will act as an executor. Responsibilities include identifying all beneficiaries (creditors and heirs) and may encompass the following tasks:
- Arranging funeral services
- Evaluating the estate’s value
- Arranging for the management of estate property
- Assessing estate tax liabilities and income tax liabilities
- Managing payment for debts and expenses the estate or deceased person owes
- Filing tax returns
- Distributing estate property (per the will)
PR bonds are often referred to as probate bonds, executor bonds, or administrator bonds. These bonds may have slightly different definitions depending on your state, but they’re similar in nature.
Get Your Personal Representative Bond:
- A personal representative bond guarantees the bondholder carries out specific duties according to a decedent’s will.
- The court or person who died may designate a personal representative.
- PR bonds are often referred to as probate bonds, executor bonds, or administrator bonds.
- The bond protects the estate against unlawful acts or a PR’s failure to carry out an essential duty as required by law.
- This bond may be unnecessary if a will explicitly explains how an estate’s assets should be distributed and managed.
What is a personal representative?
A personal representative is an executor – the person responsible for administering an estate after someone dies. The court or person who died may designate a personal representative. This individual must act in good faith, carrying out the deceased person’s wishes in the best interests of the estate’s beneficiaries (Investopedia).
A personal representative is often a relative or friend of the deceased person and may be a beneficiary of the estate. This individual is usually named in a will but could also be appointed by the courts.
How do personal representative bonds work?
A personal representative bond is a three-party agreement involving an obligee, a principal, and a surety.
- Obligee: The court that requires a PR to obtain a bond
- Principal: The personal representative who must purchase the bond and abide by its terms
- Surety: The financial company that issues the bond and backs it financially
The bond protects the estate against unlawful acts carried out by the PR (fiduciary) or the PR’s failure to carry out an essential duty as required by law. If the PR does something to warrant a claim, the surety may cover the costs to settle it. However, the PR is ultimately responsible for repaying the surety for all costs associated with a valid claim.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of your bond will depend on the amount the court requires. This varies from state to state. You will pay a small percentage of the bond requirement as your premium. Call ZipBonds at 888-435-4191 to get a quote.
You may need this bond if you’re appointed as a personal representative, executor, or administrator. However, this bond may be unnecessary if the will explicitly explains how an estate’s assets should be distributed and managed.
Personal representative bonds are a common type of probate bond. A probate bond is a type of bond the courts require before appointing someone as the personal representative or executor of an estate. The terms “probate bond” and “personal representative bond” are often used interchangeably.
The probate courts often require PRs to obtain a bond if someone dies without leaving a valid will. The bond ensures that the PR will legally and ethically manage the estate’s assets.
How to Apply for Your Personal Representative Bond
If you’re required to obtain a personal representative bond, you can apply today by sending us a copy of your court order. We may ask you to share financial information, a schedule of the estate assets, and attorney identification information.
If you need help applying or have questions, call us at 888-435-4191. One of our agents will happily walk you through the application process to get you bonded in a zip!
Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for ZipBonds.com when they realized how overly complicated it was to help clients place surety. The frustration of being unable to incorporate the technology they’d used in other insurance-focused projects left them thinking “there has to be a better way.”
Fast forward a couple of years, and that better way is the impetus of everything we do at ZipBonds. We constantly look for innovative ways to improve the bonding process for our clients and agents. Our team comprises individuals who understand all angles of surety – for companies, agencies, and individuals. Incorporating everyone’s point of view to improve the process while simultaneously integrating cutting-edge technology is what sets our business apart.