Probate and Judicial Surety Bonds Explained
Court bonds are legal contracts that are used like other surety bonds — as a guarantee that you will comply with the obligations set forth by a state, federal or municipal agency, and most likely handed down from a judge or administrator. There are two types of court bonds: Probate and Judicial. Probate bonds are most often required for administering another person’s estate. Judicial bonds are most often needed for civil court cases.
If you have been appointed to oversee another person’s estate, you are a “Fiduciary” of that estate. In order to protect the estate’s assets, you may be required to provide a surety bond. A surety bond is a legal document that guarantees to the court and to the estate heirs that you will work honestly and ethically on behalf of the estate, and that all assets will be properly accounted for. If you misuse the funds of the estate, a claim could be made against you.
Several terms are frequently used in reference to court bonds: Administrator, Executor, Guardian, and Conservator.
An Administrator Bond or Executor Bond:
This surety bond can be required if you have been appointed by a court to undertake fiduciary duties on behalf of a deceased person, a minor, or an incapacitated individual. An Executor is someone that was named in the will of a deceased individual to distribute assets as the deceased wished. If there is no will, an Administrator is appointed by a court to handle the estate. In this case, the estate assets will be distributed by Intestate Succession — going to the deceased’s closest relatives.
A Conservator or Guardian Bond:
A Guardian is appointed by a court to handle the responsibility of the financial affairs of a child and/or assumes all responsibility for the child. A child or incapacitated adult is called a “ward.” In the case of a child, the guardian is usually their primary caregiver. In the case of an incapacitated adult, the guardian and caregiver can be different. The guardian has a responsibility to make sure the incapacitated adult is receiving adequate care by their caregivers. A conservator may also have a responsibility to manage the ward’s financial matters, including real estate, securities, bank accounts, and income such as retirement checks, social security checks, or any other sources of income.
A VA Fiduciary Bond:
Although not a court bond, a VA fiduciary is often required to have a similar role as a conservator. The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Fiduciary Program protects Veterans or veteran family members who are unable to manage their financial affairs. The VA will appoint a fiduciary who is first investigated to determine their ability to manage the estate. The fiduciary oversees VA benefits for the Veteran. If you have been appointed to manage the estate of a Veteran or their family, the Veterans Affairs Administration may require you to obtain a surety bond.
If you are involved in a civil court case, a judge may require you to obtain a surety bond in certain circumstances. The surety bond guarantees that any court fees and monetary judgments by those involved will be paid when a final court decision has been made.
If someone loses a court case, they may appeal the ruling. An appeal bond guarantees that the appellant will pay the original judgment if the appeal fails or is denied.
Bail is money pledged to a court in order to release a person who is in jail and suspected of committing a crime. The bail ensures the person will return for their trial and other court appearances. If the person returns to all required appearances, the bail is returned, no matter if they are found guilty or not guilty. However, if the person fails to appear in court, the bail is forfeited, and the person could be charged with failure to appear. Note: SuretyGroup.com does not issue bail bonds.
Court Costs Bond:
A court may require a court costs bond to guarantee the payment of court costs. This bond is usually required for those involved in court cases that are being handled in a state where they don’t live.
An injunction surety bond is used in a “cease and desist” court order. The surety bond is a guarantee that covers financial damages to the person served with the order in the case the injunction notice is later determined to be wrongful. There are three types of Injunctions:
- Preliminary Injunction Bond: Prevents the defendant from acting in a way that would cause harm to the plaintiff and their rights.
- Affirmative Injunction Bond: This directs the defendant to do some type of action.
- Prohibitive Injunction Bond: Stops the defendant from an action until there is a hearing on the matter.
Plaintiff Attachment Bond:
During a court case, a plaintiff may want to make sure the defendant has the means to pay a judgment if the defendant is found guilty. This bond keeps the defendant from selling or hiding his or her personal property or assets that could be used to pay damages if the court rules in the plaintiff’s favor.
A receiver is appointed as an officer of the court. Duties can include protecting property and management or operation of assets as a fiduciary, agent or representative.
Release of Lien Bond:
During construction or renovations of a building, a lien can be filed against the real estate for unpaid labor and materials. The lien is usually filed with a public trustee or court, which in turn prevents the property owner from being able to sell the property. A Release of Lien bond allows the owner to transfer the property with a guarantee that they will pay the lien if a court makes a final decision that the owner is liable.
A court may require a replevin bond when one person is suing another person for possession of a property that they believe they have a legal right to. The bond ensures that the person who is currently in possession of the property does not damage or destroy the item until a judge determines who the rightful owner is.
A replevin bond can also be used by lienholders, such as banks, when someone defaults on a car loan. The bond allows the lienholder to take possession of the vehicle.
What Will My Court Bond Cost?
The price you pay for a premium is not the same as the bond amount. Premium prices are determined by a variety of factors that can include the bond type, the bond amount, your credit history, and personal or business financials. To get the premium amount for your situation, contact SuretyGroup.com for a free, no-obligation quote. Our Surety Bond Specialists can work with you to get the best rate possible, and deliver your bond quickly.
To get your free quote, contact our Surety Bond Specialists at 1‑844‑432‑6637, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll shop your bond for a better rate, at no obligation to you.
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