New York Administrator Bond Guide
You go to a Surrogate’s court in New York to complete the probate forms for your loved one’s estate. As luck would have it, the estate is relatively simple, and with the help of the nice clerks, it looks like you’ll be able get this done without hiring an attorney.
Then they tell you: “just one more thing: you need an administrator bond.” What’s a administrator bond, and how do I get one?
Administrator Bond Definition?
An administrator bond (also known as an probate bond or executor bond) is an insurance policy to protect the heirs in case the executor doesn’t properly pay out their inheritance money.
How Does a Probate Bond Work?
The most common scenarios are if the executor either steals the estate funds, or makes poor decisions with the estate. If a bonded executor is guilty of either, the heirs can file a claim with the bond company, just as with any other insurance claim. This is much easier for the heirs than trying to find the money, or attaching a lien against the executor’s home, car, wages, etc.
When do Courts Require an Executor Bond?
Generally, the New York courts will require the executor to buy a bond whenever there’s any disagreement between the executor and the heirs. If all the heirs get along with the executor, then most courts won’t require the bond.
However, each Judge has different rules, and some courts will always require an administrator bond, if there is no will. While other courts always require a bond if the estate is selling real estate.
How to Get a Administrator Bond.
Each Surrogate’s Court has a list of approved bond companies and underwriters. You can choose from the list, or you can do your own internet research, and then check to make sure the company you found is on the court’s list. After you’ve chosen a bond company, you must complete their application.
Can I Get a Bond with Bad Credit?
Probably not. You usually must have a good or excellent credit score, otherwise you probably won’t qualify. Why? Because the bond company wants to be sure that you’re financially responsible enough for the job of executor. So they use credit score to judge.
How Much Does an Administrator Bond Cost?
Once your application is approved, you pay the first year’s premium for the bond. The amount will depend on your credit score, the size of the estate, the county, and other factors. Here are a few samples, just to give you an idea:
|Estate Size ($)||Bond Premium ($)|
What if I Can’t Get an Administrator Bond?
Many folks are unable to get an administrator bond. In those cases, the court will usually suggest that you find an attorney who can serve as your professional executor.
We’ve served as professional executor for many of our clients, and were able to successfully complete estate settlement. Since we are already insured and experienced probate attorneys, getting a bond is not a problem.
Pete’s mom passed away, survived by Paul and his 3 siblings. The court required a probate bond, but none of them could qualify for a bond, leaving Paul feeling stuck and frustrated. Then he found our office, and was relieved to learn that we could help his family settle his mom’s estate. It turned out that his mom’s estate was far more complicated than he originally thought, so in the end he was doubly-glad that he had worked with us as his attorney and professional executor.
How to Hire an Attorney-Executor to Get an Administrator Bond
If you’re unable to get an administrator bond for any reason, contact us to see if our professional executor service is a good match for you. Our attorneys work exclusive in this area of law, and have served as executor for over 100 estates. Not only will we get a bond with ease, but we’ll also completely settle your estate so that you don’t have to spend your time or stress trying to do it yourself.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Involved with a probate estate? Writing your will? Pick up a copy of my book:
How Probate Works: A Guide for Executors, Heirs, and Families
Questions answered in the book:
- How long does probate take?
- How are estate debts paid?
- Why being an executor can be difficult
- Click here to see all the questions.
A testimonial from a reader:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “As I begin down this path with my parent’s estate, I found this resource very helpful. While the task before me now seems even more daunting than before, it’s more of an informed weight as I have an idea of what’s coming and how much it will require of me. It’s no longer the mysterious unknown that feels overwhelming, but a process that I can work through one piece at a time.”