Here’s something you probably didn’t know: when you’re named as a personal representative in a Probate Court case in Florida, the court requires you to purchase an estate bond to protect interested persons in the probate estate from any potential damage caused by you as the personal representative. It’s true. Damages can be caused by a personal representative through a breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, or other issues leading to damage to the interested person due to the personal representative’s actions.
Who needs an estate bond in Florida probate court?
Florida’s probate case bonding requirements are laid out in section 733.402 of the Florida Statutes. Essentially, the section states that every fiduciary before the probate court has to be bonded unless the requirement is waived by the court or the will. These requirements are in place to protect the interests of the estate and beneficiaries according to state law.
Banks and trust companies named as personal representatives, however, are an exception do not have to be bonded, according to section 733.402(3). A personal representative who is required to be bonded under the Statutes has the ability to file a petition seeking an order to waive the bond. The court also has the ability to waive the bond upon its own motion.
The bond requirement, however, may differ in each Florida circuit. Collier County is known to take the bonding requirement on a case by case basis whereas most courts in Pinellas County require the bond for personal representatives.
To determine the value of the bond in the Florida probate court, the court weighs factors including gross estate value, exempt property, family allowance, asset type, known creditors, encumbrances on assets, liens, and the relationship of the personal representative to the estate’s beneficiaries.
Where do personal representatives purchase a bond for probate court in Florida?
Colonial offers the direct and digital way to obtain bonds for personal representatives in Florida probate court. We are the insurance company — which means no agent, no broker, and no middleman. We make it easy to obtain your bond instantly. The steps are easy — get a quote online, fill out your information, satisfy underwriting requirements, and enter your payment method. Print or e-file your bond from your office. It’s that simple!
An estate bond is reasonably priced and easy to obtain. You may notice that with other insurance agents and middlemen companies, your premium rate will fluctuate and include additional hidden fees and costs. Colonial offers our lowest possible rate. Premium is based on the amount of the bond required by the applicable court.