When Do You Need a Bond in California Probate?
The purpose of a probate bond in California probate is to protect the estate in case the value of the estate declines as a result of the personal representative’s mismanagement or misconduct. If that is the case, then the bond will be freed to make the estate whole again.
Obtaining such a bond can be costly, and the price depends on the value and nature of the property subject to the bond. This is why, oftentimes, the decedent’s will includes a waiver of the bond requirement. In such a case, the California Probate Court will often, but not always, waive the bond.
Another way to avoid the bond requirement is to have all the beneficiaries agree to waive the bond. Even so, if the personal representative resides outside California, the court will probably require that he or she be bonded.
The personal representative, executor, or administrator of the estate, must qualify for a bond. Qualification depends on the representative’s net worth and creditworthiness. Personal representatives who do not qualify could still find a solution if their attorney maintains control over the estate account.
When the will does not waive a bond or the personal representative resides out of California, a request for a waiver of bond to the court must include a declaration that states:
- The number of unsecured creditors of the estate and the estimated liability to them
- All estimated tax liabilities
- The amount of any known contingent liabilities
- Whether the estate is solvent
- The due diligence performed to establish the above information
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