Administrators and executors fill the role of a personal representative upon the death of a person owning an estate. The administrator or executor must represent the estate and address its financial matters while acting in the best interest of the heirs and beneficiaries. Unfortunately, when money and property is involved, people do not always act with integrity (especially distressing as this deceitful exploitation is at the detriment of family) and this is where a surety bond from Jet Insurance Company can play an integral role.
The Administrator or Executor Bond may be required in the will or by a probate judge to guarantee all beneficiaries of an estate receive their appropriate allotment. The bond is not always required, but if foul play is a concern of the will’s author or probate judge, then Jet will provide a financial guarantee in the form of a bond that no person is left short-handed.
One can imagine Cinderella’s fate without a fairy godmother. The stepmother gives the entire estate to her children and Cinderella gets zilch. Yet, a probate court could deem a surety bond necessary after an assessment of the situation and the stepmother’s disposition. Instead of Prince Charming, Jet Insurance Company would have to suffice by providing a guarantee (administrator/executor bond) for Cinderella’s financial future.
The difference between an administrator and executor is simply that the administrator is appointed by the court, whereas the executor is named in the will. Both titles carry out the same duties and are most often referred to as the personal representative. The bond covers the same risk no matter the role.
The bond amount depends on the value of assets in the estate. The court will evaluate the estate and determine the bond limit needed for sufficient protection for its heirs. For smaller bond limits, Jet is concerned with the personal representative’s credit and relation to the estate to determine eligibility and cost of the bond. Additional information may be needed for larger estates, with bond limits over $250,000, such as financial statements and a copy of the will. The rate you pay for the surety bond will be a small percentage of the bond limit.
Administrators and executors complete tasks as necessary to close the estate and direct assets to the appropriate heirs. These tasks include, but are not limited to:
Depending on the size and location of the estate, the duties may slightly vary. As a personal representative, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the duties so they are fulfilled without errors.
The personal representative has a critical role in closing an estate. Not fulfilling duties according to the law can result in serious consequences from the court, including a claim on the surety bond. Actions that could lead to disciplinary action include:
Action brought against the administrator or executor must go through the court and complaints will most often generate from heirs and beneficiaries of the estate. Any issues will be first addressed with the appropriate county court and if not taken care of by the personal representative the bond may be used for reimbursement of losses to the affected party.
The process with Jet is quick! Just fill out each field within the application and one of Jet’s underwriters will review shortly after to get you an approved rate. Information that is needed includes the administrator’s or executor’s name and social security number, the bond limit, and the address where the bond should be sent. The social security number is needed for a soft credit check, which does not affect credit scores or show up on credit reports.
Executors and Administrators fulfilling duties as a personal representative have a similar process on a state-to-state basis. The graphic below shows the general process.
For more detailed and state-specific information, refer to the list below. More states to come!
|District of Columbia|