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Why should an executor buy a probate bond?

On Behalf of | Dec 25, 2023 | Estate Administration

If you are charged with administering someone’s estate after their death in New York, you have many different tasks that you must accomplish according to the law. One essential task you should complete in addition to what is required is to purchase a probate bond.

What is a probate bond?

During the estate administration process, some property must go through probate court to ensure that the administrator distributes assets according to the decedent’s will. A probate bond guarantees that the executor will fulfill the necessary legal requirements.

Before distributing assets as a state administrator, you should also do the following:

  • Locate and interpret the will
  • Assemble property and have it appraised
  • Pay any outstanding debts
  • Pay property and estate taxes
  • Pay funeral service costs

Who needs a probate bond?

Generally, probate bonds are a good idea if you must administer a large estate. Sometimes, a family will waive the probate bond purchase, or the court may indicate that one is unnecessary if the estate has no outstanding debts. When considering a probate bond, you’ll find four types, and these include administrator, personal representative, conservatorship and trustee. All work in relatively the same manner.

Have your loved ones take steps now

Performing all the duties associated with an estate can be lengthy and difficult, involving many steps. If you are having conversations with loved ones about becoming their executor, you can collaborate with them and talk to them about taking measures that will make your job easier when it is time to administrate their estate. With proper estate planning, the process can be simplified. Many different planning tools can help avoid probate through documents that designate specific heirs for assets.

Various trusts are one of the most popular tools to avoid probate, but you can also talk to your loved one about choosing transfer-on-death (TOD) accounts. In the case of estates worth less than $50,000, your loved one can select a small estate proceeding to bypass probate. Review your documents periodically to ensure they meet their needs.