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Posting a Surety Bond for a Relative’s Estate

If you’ve been named the executor of a relative’s estate, you may have to post a surety bond with the probate court. Some wills have language that waives the requirement, freeing the executor from that expense. Otherwise, you must purchase a surety bond and post it with the court, before the court will name you as the official executor and empower you to settle the estate.

The probate bond is meant to protect the estate and its beneficiaries from fraud, embezzlement or gross mismanagement of the estate assets. When you become an executor, you assume power over the estate’s financial assets, real estate and personal property. The tasks you’re charged with completing include:

  • Identifying and securing estate assets
  • Contacting beneficiaries
  • Having the estate appraised
  • Paying creditors
  • Paying taxes
  • Collecting debts owed the estate
  • Distributing estate assets according to the will

As executor, you are personally liable for losses to the estate due to your negligent, reckless or deliberate acts. The surety bond you post is an insurance policy for the estate’s beneficiaries. It protects them against any improper or illegal actions on your part.

How much will the bond cost you? Surety bonds are priced based on a couple of factors: the size of the estate and your creditworthiness. The court sets an approximate value for the estate based on available financial information. Fortunately, the bonds are moderately priced, and there are many vendors offering free quotes. You can shop around for the best price. An executor can eventually recoup this expense from the estate, with the court’s approval.

If you have questions about probating a relative’s estate, our knowledgeable attorneys are ready to help. To schedule an appointment, call Tyrell Law, PLLC at 702.382.2210 or contact our Las Vegas office online.

 

 

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