FAQs

Probate Bonds

  What is the procedure to qualify for a probate bond?

  River City Bonding, PLLC provides timely issuance of probate bonds for guardians and administrators. Let’s get started:

Please complete the bond application.

  • Fax, email or mail the completed bond application and a copy of the Order Appointing. (Note: We will accept a photocopy or conformed copy of the order appointing, a court certified copy is NOT required)

  • We will review the submitted application and, in most cases, run a credit report on the guardian or administrator.

  • We will contact the attorney or client if the bond is approved.

Important considerations:

 

  • The bond fee is due at the time the bond is picked up.

  • Please call for an appointment prior to arriving at our office.

  What is the fee for the bond?

  The bond fee is based on the amount of the bond. Please call for a quote.

  What is a probate bond?

  A probate bond is a three party agreement between the guardian/administrator, the probate court and the bond company. The bond company is licensed under the laws of the State of Texas to guarantee the performance of the principal to fulfill the obligations imposed by the probate statutes.

A bond is NOT:

  • An insurance policy to protect the principal

  • An interest bearing account for the benefit of heirs and wards

In fact, the bond does not protect the guardian/administrator whatsoever. The bond is for the sole benefit of the heir(s) and ward(s). A claim under the bond would be the result of a judgment against the guardian or administrator rendered by the probate court. Such claims are usually promulgated by dispossessed heirs, unpaid creditors or attorneys representing the interested parties to the estate.

  What actions are expected by the bond company on behalf of the administrator or guardian?

  The bond company expects the guardian or administrator to fulfill the requirements as outlined in the probate statutes. Generally, these requirements include, but are not limited to, filing inventories and annual reports to the probate court when appropriate and submitting a final accounting in order to close the guardianship or administration. In other words, the bond company expects nothing less than what is required by the statutes of the probate code.

  How is the bond fee assessed?

  The bond fee is based on the amount of the bond. It is important to note that bond amounts are set by the probate judge. The minimum bond fee is $100.00.  The bond fee rises proportionally as bonds are set at higher amounts.

Guardian Bond fee:  An annual fee is charged until the guardianship is closed by the Probate Court. Bonds for guardianships of minors have a special bond fee whereby the annual fees are paid, in advance, until the age of majority.

Administration Bond fee: Bond amounts less than $25,000 have a onetime fee.  Bonds in excess of $25,000 have an annual fee until the bond is closed by the Probate Court.

  How is a bond closed?

  The only action that can close a probate bond is a judge’s signed order closing the estate or guardianship. This document is commonly referred to as the “Order Discharging” and it releases the bond company and the principal from any further liability associated with the proceedings.  A bond is not canceled by the bond company; it is continuous until closed by the court. The probate court is the only party that can close or cancel a bond.  A copy of the "Order Discharging" must be submitted to the bond company.

The bond is not closed automatically upon the death of the ward. Remember, only the probate judge can close a bond by signed order. Statutorily, such an order is signed upon the review by court officials of a final accounting of the estate or guardianship.

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