When a probate court appoints an executor to administer the estate of someone who has died, diligent reporting is required.
Core to the probate process is accounting for a deceased person’s assets and debts and recording the fair distribution of assets to beneficiaries. As LegalBeagle explains:
An executor, sometimes called a personal representative, is an individual appointed by a probate court to administer a decedent’s estate. An executor’s job is to take control of the estate’s assets and distribute them to the decedent’s beneficiaries. An executor must also provide an accounting of all assets and distributions for the court and beneficiaries.
Accounting forms and preparation formalities vary slightly from state to state; however, they all require the same basic information. An executor must disclose to the beneficiaries all actions… taken for the estate. Receipts for bill payments and the sale of real estate or other property must be listed. Distributions of money or property made to beneficiaries must specify dollar amounts and identify the property and beneficiaries involved. Essentially, beneficiaries are entitled to detailed, accurate accounting from executors.
What is an Executor Bond and How Can You Obtain One?
Frequently, probate court judges request the appointed executor to obtain an executor bond. This is a type of fiduciary bond required by courts to protect the interests of the estate and its beneficiaries in accordance with state law. When a judge requires an executor bond, it must be secured and filed promptly.
Easily obtain an executor bond from a leading, national provider: Colonial Surety Company. Uniquely, Colonial offers direct, digital, executor bonds. Sometimes these bonds are referred to as the administrator, estate, fiduciary, personal representative or probate bonds. Colonial provides all of them. Just get a quote online, fill out your information, and enter your payment method. Print or e-file the bond right from your home or office—even while at court. It’s that simple.
Objection? Records Help!
During the probate court process, beneficiaries can question the accounting of assets, as well as dispute their distribution. That’s why a critical responsibility of the executor is careful recordkeeping. In fact, as LegalBeagle describes:
Courts can require an executor’s accounting to receive direct judicial scrutiny and approval. Beneficiaries may attend hearings for approval; however, it is a judge who must ultimately approve accountings in these cases.
Generally, a final accounting must be filed before an estate closes. This gives beneficiaries the opportunity to review all of an executor’s activities before the file is permanently closed in court.
Special Advice for Attorneys: Partner!
In addition to providing bonds directly to the general public, Colonial Surety provides an innovative Partnership Account to help busy attorneys save time. This free business service provides attorneys with user-friendly client management dashboards to coordinate, view, complete and e-file the court and fiduciary bonds clients need.
Often, lawyers and their clients are left shuffling as they scurry to secure court or fiduciary bonds and respond to deadlines. Colonial’s direct, fully digital, user-friendly system reduces the time, hassle and expense typically associated with antiquated processes.
Attorneys are invited to obtain a free Colonial Surety Partnership Account® to streamline the bonding process. Our unique Partnership Account® will increase your efficiency—and lower costs for clients. See for yourself today: Colonial’s Partnership Account for Attorneys.
Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed for business everywhere in the USA.