It is always sad news when there is strife among beneficiaries after a loved one has passed. It is especially difficult when the strife plays out in public. After the tragic death of famed Actor/Comedian Robin Williams, his heirs are engaging in just such a public battle; as an article in the New York Times explains: Robin Williams. Even though there was an estate plan in place there is still significant discord among the heirs. And, despite the plan, it may still be necessary for the courts to intercede and require a Personal Representative (PR) to administer estate distribution to avoid any further trouble. Due to the nature of the dispute, the court may require the PR to secure a Personal Representative Bond to ward off any claims of mismanagement.
A personal representative bond is required by the state of California to protect the interest of the deceased’s estate, its heirs and those parties who are owed money. The responsibility of a personal representative (commonly referred to as an administrator or executor in California) is taken seriously by the courts. Courts mandate the surety bond as a form of protection for all parties. While the surety bond protects the heirs and creditors of the estate, it is also a protection for the personal representative to ensure she/he fulfills their duties responsibly.
Being Appointed As A Personal Representative
On average, the deceased will name the personal representative in their will. However, if this does not occur the responsibility could be entrusted to the closest living relative or even to a financial institution (like a bank) that will oversee the account. A California judge may appoint a person to the position after a probate examiner reviews the petition and estate information.
Being named as a personal representative of an estate is a big deal. The court holds the overseer to all his or her actions in order to protect heirs and creditors of the estate.
The duties of a personal representative, executor or administrator in California include the following:
- Notifying Inheritors
- File Will in Probate Court
- Pay Taxes
- Distribute Property
- Open Bank Accounts for Estate
- Settle Debts
All of these tasks and more, including the day-to-day details, rest on the shoulders of an executor. Given the amount of responsibility an administrator holds it is necessary for the personal representative bond to fully cover these actions.
Executor Bond Cost
California executor bond statute explains how a personal representative bond amount is determined:
8482. (a) The court in its discretion may fix the amount of the bond, but the amount of the bond shall be not more than the sum of:
(1) The estimated value of the personal property.
(2) The probable annual gross income of the estate.
(3) If independent administration is granted as to real property, the estimated value of the decedent’s interest in the real property.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if the bond is given by an admitted surety insurer, the court may establish a fixed minimum amount for the bond, based on the minimum premium required by the admitted surety insurer.
(c) If the bond is given by personal sureties, the amount of the bond shall be twice the amount fixed by the court under subdivision (a).
(d) Before confirming a sale of real property the court shall require such additional bond as may be proper, not exceeding the maximum requirements of this section, treating the expected proceeds of the sale as personal property.
The executor bond lasts as long as it takes to formally settle an estate. Sometimes this can be achieved in as little as eight months while other estates take years to settle. The longevity of the personal representative bond will impact the cost of the surety. Make sure to discuss this point with your Jurisco representative when you contact them about personal representative bonds
Taking Care of Loved Ones With Guardianship Bonds in California
A recent article on Huffington Post by anti-elder abuse advocate Carol Herman outlines the much too common tragedy of when Guardians neglect and abuse their wards (full article found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carole-herman/conservatorships-beware_b_1785309.html)
As the baby boomer generation gets older they are reminded just how much times have changed when their kids no longer have the funds nor the time to take care of them as they would just a few decades ago. Now families live in single unit housing and are often separated by state lines from their loved ones. This can make it especially hard when that special person in your life is declared incompetent or where a judge has ruled that a guardian should be named to oversee an estate or a person’s life.
Think of a guardianship bond as extra protection for the ones you hold most dear because in reality that is what it is doing. With this type of surety bond, Jurisco can protect your estate and family by making sure the guardian does everything he/she is supposed to do and without making too many withdrawals from the family bank. A guardianship bond serves as a surety to ensure the guardian upholds their end of the bargain and does so with no ill will.
Loved ones can be declared incompetent due to age, disease, or for any number of reasons. If you think this ruling has been unjust, Jurisco can help you there too. Using this type of surety bond brings peace of mind to people who cannot be there physically to do the work of a nurse, hospice worker, or other at home aide worker. A guardianship bond will protect your loved one’s interests and help ensure their quality of life does not decline simply because they are declared incompetent.
While this scenario rings true with grandparents and the elderly, age isn’t going to stop the court from ruling someone incompetent. Children who are under the age of 18 may require a guardianship care should they lose their parents, for example.
Whatever the reason, Jurisco can help secure a guardianship surety bond that will protect the interest of the family, business, or estate. Our team has the tools necessary to help make the transition an easy one and make sure everyone is on the same page. At the end of the day we just want to ensure people are taken care of the way they deserve to be. Let us help you by helping them.
Who needs estate planning in Colorado? This questions was posed by Wayne Farlow in ColoradoBiz.com (see full article here: http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/who-needs-estate-planning). The answer is pretty straight forward: Anyone who is going to die. Not to be morbid, but that is the simple truth. No matter the size of your estate, a little planning can save your beneficiaries a lot of hassle after your passing (at a ripe old age, surrounded by your loved ones). Without planning your estate will have to go through probate court which will cost your estate money and may even result in the judge requiring a probate bond (or personal representative bond) for the individual selected to manage the distribution of your estate. Now, in case that last sentence piqued your interest. Let me further explain the Probate Bond: A personal representative bond is required by the state of Colorado to protect the interest of the deceased’s estate, its heirs and those parties who are owed money. The responsibility of a personal representative (formally referred to as an executor in Colorado) is taken seriously by the courts. Courts mandate the surety bond as a form of protection for all parties. While the surety bond protects the heirs and creditors of the estate, it is also a protection for the personal representative to ensure she/he fulfills their duties responsibly. Being Appointed As A Personal Representative On average, the deceased will name the personal representative in their will. However, if this does not occur the responsibility could be entrusted to the closest living relative or even to a financial institution (like a bank) that will oversee the account. A Colorado judge may appoint a person to the position after a probate examiner reviews the petition and estate information. Being named as a personal representative of an estate is a big deal. The court holds the overseer to all his or her actions in order to protect heirs and creditors of the estate. The duties of a personal representative, executor or administrator in Colorado include the following:
- Notifying Inheritors
- File Will in Probate Court
- Pay Taxes
- Distribute Property
- Open Bank Accounts for Estate
- Settle Debts
All of these tasks and more, including the day-to-day details, rest on the shoulders of an executor. Given the amount of responsibility an administrator holds it is necessary for the personal representative bond to fully cover these actions. Surety Bonds exist to make the probate and estate planning process more secure; though they can be complicated. If you have any questions regarding personal representative bonds please dont hesitate to contact the surety bond experts at Jurisco. A member of their friendly staff will be happy to answer any query that may arise.
In California, Professional Guardians play a vital role in the well-being of the state’s elderly and disabled. Let’s face it: In today’s society, Guardians are essential. And with great power comes great responsibility and, also, a greater risk of system abuse. The and that is why there are checks put in place by the California legal system to those in most need of protecting. A Guardianship Bond is one of those checks. Mandatory licensing by the office of the California Consumer Affairs is another (see here for more info: http://www.fiduciary.ca.gov/). The Guardianship bond is required when a person may be deemed incapacitated by the court by either infirmity or age. In these cases, the probate court may appoint a guardian to handle the incapacitated person’s (ward) financial and physical affairs. Requiring a guardianship bond ensures the person is not mistreated or taken advantage of financially.
It has been many years since the tradition structure of family living dissipated. Rarely now do you find three generations of a family living together and and rarely do parents have the time or resources to care for the permanently disabled. Things that used to be common are now the exception. And families must trust strangers to care for grampa. A story I recently read on SantaCruz.com by author Georgia Perry got me thinking about this. (See story here: http://www.santacruz.com/2012/07/31/guardianship_case_highlights_plight_of_elderly/)
Loved ones shouldn’t be frightened by the occasional bad story. Rather, they should be careful. Because, by and large, California’s Professional Guardians are a wonderful and trustworthy group. And they care they provide can make you life, and the life of a disabled loved one, so much better.
If you are looking for a professional guardian or are already a Fiduciary and are interested in learning more about the requirements for a Guardianship Bond in California, please contact the bond experts at Jurisco and their helpful staff will provide you with all the information you require.
This spring the Colorado legislature made a few substantive changes to the civil code in Colorado. This could lead to a change in your practice. The surety bond experts at Jurisco know this and will track the changes to keep you up to date. Colorado Senate Bill 13-077 will affect the way conservatorships and estates are regulated and executed in the state. This could affect all probate and estate planning practices.
According to the Probate Blog from the Law firm of Wade Ash Woods Hill &Farley, P.C., the new law has provisions that, “… adds to the factors that are to be considered by a judge when determining the reasonableness of compensation and costs in probate matters, and reaffirms that nominated and appointed personal representatives have legal standing to determine their decedent’s probable intent and estate planning purposes on issues involving the decedent’s estate and it allows those representatives to prosecute or defend their decedent’s intent at the expense of the estate, resolving a previously open question in probate proceedings”. (See the full blog post: here)
This affects many areas of probate including guardianships, estates and how personal representatives are allowed to execute estates.
This new law also has implications on how surety bonds and probate bonds will be handled in cases. For instance now that personal representatives are allowed more discretion to levy out the assets of an estate, more scrutiny will likely be applied to the PR’s qualifications and fitness to control the distribution of the decedent’s estate. A personal representative bond (also known as an administrator bond or an executor bond) will likely be required in more estate matters to guarantee that the PR’s discretion doesn’t stray too far from the orders stated in the will.
With a busy practice it can be difficult to follow all the changes in taking place in Denver. The bond experts at Jurisco will monitor how legislation affects your business.
California’s legislature is in session. And like every year there are a host of proposed changes to the legal code in California, both civil and probate. For instance, Senate Bill 156 (SB-156) would challenge an attorney’s ability to collect fees from the management of a conservatorship. From the bill text, “This bill would … limit the ability of an attorney who represents a conservator to charge a fee for managing a conservatorship when the conservator challenges this management.” This is a small change that could have a legitimate impact on your business.
Jurisco will continue to monitor this bill’s path through committee and provide you with assessments an analysis on SB-156 and any others that may affect your business. If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the bond experts at Jurisco.
Don’t let changes in legal code catch you unaware. In addition to managing growing businesses and busy schedules, it is almost impossible to keep track of every bill and proposal in Sacramento. The bonding experts at Jurisco, however, make it our business to know everything that may affect your business. If you ever have a question about how a these changes may affect your practice, please do not hesitate to contact us. A member of our knowledgeable staff will provide you with the up-to-date information you need to keep your practice current and free from costly setbacks.