Court Bonds

Executor or Administrator?



The name given to the person charged with settling the affairs of the deceased depends on the circumstances involved. When a will is made, typically an executor is designated to carry it out. When there is no will (aka “dying intestate”), the probate court appoints an administrator, whose duties are quite similar to those of executor.


Fiduciary Duties

Whether or not a will has been made, probate, “the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate,”must be completed. During probate, the administrator or executor (known as a personal representative in some states), is responsible for bringing closure to the affairs of the deceased, by resolving debts and then distributing remaining assets. Both administrators and executors are fiduciaries: once courts grant authority to them, they are legally obligated to safeguard the interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. Executors and administrators have many responsibilities, and typically must: 


Inventory and secure the estate assets

Create a detailed inventory of all assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal property, and other valuable items….Look for valuable assets in the home, including antiques and artwork….Collect necessary documents, including the deed to the house and tax records…Prevent unauthorized access to property and other assets, such as freezing bank accounts and changing locks and passwords.


Have high-value assets appraised

Obtain professional appraisals for valuable assets to determine their fair market value as of the date of the decedent’s death. Assets that require appraisal include real estate, jewelry, artwork, and other collectibles….


Review and pay taxes, expenses, and debts

File any necessary tax returns, including federal and state income taxes for the deceased and estate taxes….Settle any outstanding debts and liabilities, including mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, healthcare bills, and other expenses….


Once debts have been resolved, assets can be distributed. In the case of a will, the beneficiaries are those named in it. Absent a will, assets are distributed to relations following the state laws of intestacy. In either case, executors and administrators must contact and notify the designated and appropriate recipients. Before the court officially closes the estate, executors and administrators must: “Prepare a final accounting of the estate’s financial transactions for approval by the court and distribution to heirs.”


Administrator and Executor Bonds?

Given their significant responsibilities, in most states, it’s typical for administrators and executors to “have bonds to ensure their trustworthy behavior in their roles. These bonds guarantee that all the estate debts will be satisfied and that the remaining assets will be properly distributed to the appropriate heirs.” Expert information about administrator and executor bonds, as well as help obtaining them can be found at Colonial Surety:


Administrator and Executor Bonds HERE.

Probate and Estate Law?

With a few clicks on The Partnership Account® for Attorneys, lawyers everywhere around the country can quickly help clients secure court and fiduciary bonds, on specific obligee required forms. 

Just select the bond needed, send it to your client for payment, and then download, e-file or print the bond. Our fiduciary bonds include: administrator, estate, executor, guardian, personal representative, probate, surrogate, trustee, conservator and the list goes on. Court bonds include: appeal, supersedeas, injunction, replevin, receiver and more. 

Easy, speedy court and fiduciary bonds here:

The Partnership Account® for Attorneys

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