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.
Waiving Administrator Bond Requirements
There are situations where the California requirement for a personal representative bond can be waived. For instance, the deceased could explicitly state there is no need for a bond. Another scenario is when all the heirs of an estate jointly decide to waive the mandate.
Even if the will and the heirs waive the bond requirement a California judge may still mandate the administrator use a probate bond to protect the estate. This is normally the case when the executor lives outside of the state.
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
A replevin bond is one of the most common types of surety bonds used by plaintiffs in Idaho court cases. Before moving forward in the bond process it’s important to know when replevin actions can be taken and why. Today, our surety bond blog discusses replevin bonds in Idaho, their requirements, associated costs, and how to best obtain bonding with minimum delay.
Idaho Replevin Bond Requirements
People in Boise, Meridian, Pocatello and Idaho Falls may hear replevin bonds referred to as sequestration or claim and delivery bonds. No matter what they are called, they all three do the same thing. When a plaintiff wishes to levy property before a court has issued a judgment in the case they must guarantee the levy isn’t wrongful. In order to satisfy this requirement, Idaho courts accept a replevin bond to protect the defendant from financial harm.
To properly levy property during a court proceeding, a replevin bond must be in place before any property is taken. Furthermore, the plaintiff may be required to coordinate with the local Sheriff’s Department to handle any repossession. Should the replevin be deemed wrongful, the surety bond fully protects the financial interest of the defendant.
Controlling Cost of Court Bond
One issue clients are always concerned with is the cost. There isn’t a “flat rate” for replevin bonds in Idaho. The value of the property being levied, severity of the action and even the credit of the plaintiff influence each bond amount. In some cases, the bond amount could be double the value of the property while in others it could be a percentage.
The court determines the bond amount to its discretion of what will fully protect the defendant. The reason a replevin bond is required by the court is to protect the defendant from wrongful replevy. This will cause fluctuations in cost, but doesn’t have to limit a client’s use of replevin.
Using A Bond Correctly
Often times it can be unclear as to what the state statute wants a client to achieve in terms of bonding. To minimize confusion and delay in receiving proper bonding it is imperative to work with a trusted surety bond company. We recommend doing some homework into different companies: what are their areas of expertise? Are they easy to communicate with? Are they knowledgeable about Idaho bond requirements?You can contact Jurisco to talk to a surety bond expert about replevin bonds or even as us what to look for in a surety bond company. We are here to answer your questions and make sure the replevin bond is written correctly and fully covers the defendant and the actions of the plaintiff.
Money judgments are typical across the United States in a variety of circumstances. A plaintiff may seek damages in an automobile accident, loan repayment, or even medical bills. There are also suits where courts award plaintiffs large sums of money, often millions of dollars, for safety hazards, product mishaps, and defamation of character. No matter the reason for the judgment, the defendant is responsible for seeing the money is paid to the plaintiff even if they wish to appeal the decision.
States mandate supersedeas bonds for appellants to qualify for re-trial by a higher court. A supersedeas bond secures and suspends execution of the judgment already awarded. The party seeking an appeal to a money judgment must post collateral or a bond with the court. This surety bond, often referred to as an appeal bond, satisfies this requirement.
Surety Bond Definition
A supersedeas bond guarantees full payment of the judgment should the appealing party lose its appeal. While the defendant has the legal right to appeal any decision by the court, it does not override the duty to protect other parties involved in the case including those awarded a money judgments. The court has a responsibility to ensure the judgment will not be delayed with frivolous appeal attempts. This surety also covers court cost and interest as well.
New Jersey and Delaware are the only two states that do not require a supersedeas bond when a money judgment is appealed. All other states require a surety or full payment of the awarded amount while the appeal process plays out. In some instances, a state court can override the bonding stipulations if both parties come to an agreement preventing the necessity of bonding. Courts may also waive a supersedeas bond in cases involving child support and require payment regardless of appeal.
Every state uses certiorari, a mandate from a superior court calling up for review from an inferior court the certified records of a particular case. Using this process, courts will determine bond requirements such as cost. States like Florida, Georgia, Texas and California will include a percentage of the judgment amount, or statutory interest rate, when determining the bond amount. In California, for instance, the supersedeas bond amount must be 150% of the judgment amount, whereas in Florida, the amount may include two years of statutory interest for those fees.
Supersedeas Bond Advantages
A supersedeas bond may appear to be a hindrance in the appeal process; however, it actually benefits the appellant. Supersedeas, meaning to “take place of,” suspends the execution of the money judgment. Now the defendant doesn’t have to pay out of pocket and then later try to recover that sum should he/she win the appeal.
The seizure of defendant’s property is also stayed using this bond. Should the judgment call for the transfer of ownership of a house, vehicle, artwork, et cetera, the defendant would be allowed to maintain possession of the property.
Posting collateral is one way to replace a supersedeas bond, but this is not nearly as beneficial as using surety bonding. Here are a few benefits of using a bond rather than depositing collateral/cash with the court registry:
- On average, courts charge a sliding scale to hold the money. This is 2% in most cases. The premium for a collateralized bond is 1%.
- Filing a bond automatically stays the execution of the judgment. Without the bond you must file a separate motion to stay.
- Many states will require a smaller bond than if the money is placed with the court. For instance in CA if a corporate surety bond is used to secure the judgment the bond amount is 150% of the judgment. If collateral is placed with the court’s registry, it must be 200% of the judgment.
- Fortune 500 companies and large insurance companies can qualify for rate credits as well as acquire the bond without collateral.
Using a surety bond may be the best route to take depending on the situation. Discussing the matter with a professional at a surety bond company is a good way to determine if a supersedeas bond applies to your needs.