Obtaining A Bond
Once an Order for Probate has been issued and the Personal Representative appointed, the Personal Representative must either obtain a bond or have the bond waived. The bond acts as security or insurance for the estate to ensure that the Personal Representative performs their duties fairly and honestly based on the powers given to them.
If the Personal Representative has been granted unlimited authority, or full powers, the amount of the bond will be based on the value of the estate, including all of the decedent’s real or personal personal. If the Personal Representative has limited powers, the bond amount will be based on the value of the decedent’s personal property only. Often times the decedent’s Will can waive the bond, however, it is in the discretion of the Court to determine whether or not a bond must be obtained. Oftentimes if the beneficiaries of the estate are minor children or if the Executor is out of the State of California, bond will be required even if the Will waived the bond and gave the Personal Representative full authority.
Proof, Duration & Cost
If bond is required, proof of the bond must be filed with the Court before the Letters of Administration can be issued. Before the Personal Representative can begin managing the estate they must have certified Letters of Administration, so it is very important for the bond to be obtained as soon as possible. The bond is valid for one year and in the event the Probate process take longer than one year the bond must be reissued. The cost of the bond is the responsibility of the Personal Representative and will be paid out of their pocket until they can be reimbursed from the final distribution of the estate and the Final Order is signed by the Judge.