Court Bonds

Probate Bonds Explained


Courts frequently require the person appointed to handle the affairs of the deceased to obtain a probate bond, which acts as a guarantee that debts and assets will be properly handled in accordance with state probate laws and protocols. A probate bond is a type of fiduciary bond, and is sometimes alternatively referred to as an estate, executor, personal representative or administrator bond. 

Protecting Beneficiaries and Estate Assets

The purpose of all probate bonds is to protect the beneficiaries and assets of the deceased while affairs are being settled. Depending upon the type of fiduciary appointed to handle an estate, the required probate bond may be referred to by a more specific name: 

If you have been named as executor, guardian, administrator, or trustee to a deceased person’s estate, you will be required to get a probate bond to ensure that you fulfill your legal duties. All probate bonds have the same purpose, but they have different names based on who is appointed to handle the estate. For example, if the deceased left a will and named you as executor, you will need to obtain an executor bond. If, on the other hand, the deceased died without a will and the court appointed you to manage the estate, you will need an administrator bond. Other types of probate bonds include trustee bonds, personal representative bonds, and conservatorship bonds. All probate bonds basically “guarantee” that any outstanding debts of the estate will be satisfied and all remaining assets will be distributed as per the deceased’s wishes, or based on state law.

Courts set the amount of a probate bond, generally based on the size of the estate and any other pertinent factors related to local probate protocols and the circumstances of the deceased. The probate bond is paid for by the fiduciary appointed to handle the estate (e.g. the executor, administrator or personal representative). However, it is not necessary to pay the full amount of the probate bond. To get a probate bond, you work with a reputable surety bond company and pay a small percentage of the total bond amount. In the event that a fiduciary fails in their duties to the estate and beneficiaries, a claim can be made against the probate bond:

When this occurs, the surety company will expect you to resolve the claim on your own. If you fail to do so, the surety company will investigate the validity of the claim. If a claim is found to be invalid, no further action will be taken. If, however, the claim is found to be valid, the surety company will ask you to settle the claim. The surety company will pay the claim on your behalf if you fail to do so, but…it will then seek reimbursement from you, in addition to any associated legal costs. In this way, a surety bond is very different from an insurance policy.

Obtaining A Probate Bond?

Colonial Surety Company makes it quick and easy to obtain probate bonds of all kinds. A user-friendly online service allows you to quote and obtain a bond that is instantly available to download or e-file with the probate court. 

Probate attorneys can help clients secure court and fiduciary bonds with a few clicks on The Partnership Account® for Attorneys. 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. 

Speedy, easy court and fiduciary bonds are right here: 

The Partnership Account® for Attorneys.

Colonial Surety is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed for business everywhere in the USA. Our customers have awarded us a 4.8 Trustpilot score.Whenever and wherever you need a bond, trust Colonial: