Protecting your property and your family are two main reasons why someone will write a will or establish an estate plan. These are both legal arrangements that establish where the deceased’s assets will go, how any debts will be paid, and what an individual’s final wishes are. Many people will choose someone they trust, called an executor or personal representative, to execute their wishes. An accomplished California probate lawyer can help you understand other ways to protect your loved ones after your death, such as probate bonds. Sweeney Probate Law has over four decades of experience and is ready to help.
One of the more challenging aspects of dealing with the death of a loved one is figuring out how their property should be split up. Some people have very specific plans for their property, but others do not. In these cases, the decision of how to divide assets will be left up to the probate court. This court will select someone to be the personal representative of the deceased. That person is put in charge of making sure any debts are paid, all property is divided correctly, and the estate is closed. In most circumstances, the personal representative can be trusted to do their job correctly, but the court may also put some extra protection in place.
We all want to believe that we can trust the person who is carrying out our final wishes, whether we choose them ourselves or they are appointed by a judge. That is not always the case, though. Some people may misuse your assets after your death to help themselves. Probate bonds are a way to protect your loved ones if your property and assets are not handled correctly.
A probate bond is essentially an insurance policy to make sure that your personal representative fulfills your wishes the way you want. If they misuse or lose any of your assets, then your loved ones can file a claim against them to be compensated for their loss. The person responsible for your estate will have to pay a premium every month that will be paid back to them once your estate is closed.
Any legal process will have certain costs associated with it. One fee connected with closing someone’s estate is the premium for a probate bond. The cost of this bond will be different for each case because it is based on the size and overall value of the estate. Large or diverse estates might have a more expensive bond because the potential financial loss is much higher.
Each estate is different, but there are a few things that should always be considered when creating a probate bond. The three biggest things that a probate court will look at when establishing a bond include:
When these things are put together, they show the overall value of the estate. That amount helps the court decide how much a bond will be. The fee for a probate bond can be avoided if all the people involved choose to waive it, but even in those cases, a judge may require one anyway.
A: When you are filing a probate case, it can be helpful to know about any costs associated with it. A probate bond, which is a way to protect the value of assets in an estate, will be paid for with a monthly premium. It is hard to determine what the specific cost of a probate bond will be because each bond is different. The cost of your probate bond will be decided, in part, by the size and value of your estate or assets.
A: A probate bond may be refundable in California, but it depends on a few factors. A personal representative in charge of executing a will has to pay a premium for a probate bond. Most of these fees are considered “estate expenses,” which means they are required to close an estate. A personal representative who pays these fees will be refunded the money by the estate when it is closed if they kept accurate records.
A: A bond is a kind of insurance policy that protects your estate if someone uses them inappropriately. The person in charge of carrying out a will or estate plan will have to present the bond before they can begin the process of executing the will. If that person takes any assets for their own benefit, then the bond will help replace their value.
A: Not all your property will have to go through probate court when you die. California considers any property or assets that are divided through a probate court case to be probate property. Any property that does not go through probate will not be included in a probate bond. If you have shared property, life insurance, retirement, or assets inherited by a loved one, then they will not be included in the probate property.
Creating a legal arrangement, like a will or an estate plan, that determines how you want your property divided and your debts paid when you die helps to protect your loved ones. It is also important to choose someone you trust to execute your wishes. Unfortunately, some people who are responsible for dividing the assets of a deceased individual will take things for themselves instead. A probate bond will protect the value of any assets and pay your loved ones back if they are misused. An experienced probate lawyer can help your loved ones establish a probate bond and fight to get your assets back. Trust the team at Sweeney Probate Law for any probate bond needs.