Probate FAQ: What is probate and a probate bond?

Answers from a Probate Lawyer St. Peters, MO Offers

probate lawyer St. Peters, MOWhen someone dies and does not have a trust or will in place, their assets will need to go through the probate process. Many people hear the word “probate” and become fearful about what they might encounter during this process. Thankfully, most states have created a probate process that is relatively straightforward, especially with the assistance of a probate lawyer in St. Peters, MO. Our probate lawyer from Legacy Law Center can explain this process in full so you know what to expect.

What is probate and a probate bond?

Probate is a legal process that governs a deceased individual’s assets and their distribution to heirs. An overview of the probate process is as follows:
  • Locating the will and filing it with the probate court.
  • Locating all of the deceased’s assets.
  • Appraising all of the assets that are likely of high value.
  • Paying any outstanding debts of the deceased.
  • Paying the deceased’s property taxes, estate taxes, and state or federal taxes.
  • Paying funeral and burial costs (if they were not already paid).
  • Distribution of any remaining assets.

The probate process may be carried out with the help of a probate lawyer in St. Peters, MO and can take between 90 days and one year or more depending on the complexity of the estate.

Understanding Probate Bond

Many courts will ask the appointed personal representative, executor, administrator, or trustee to provide a probate bond before beginning their duties. The cost of a probate bond starts at 0.5% of the total bond amount. Keep in mind that you will not get this money back. A probate lawyer in St. Peters, MO can explain this in further detail.

Understanding the Different Types of Probate Bonds
The objective of a probate bond is the same, but can be called by a different name depending on the duty that is required by the personal representative.
  • Estate of Court Bond
  • Administrator Bond
  • Personal Representative Bond
  • Trustee Bond
  • Conservatorship Bond
  • Executor of Court Bond
How the Probate Bond Works

A probate bond guarantees the personal representative will adhere to any rules and laws set forth by the state, and also any terms described in the will. These details can be reviewed by your probate lawyer in St. Peters, MO prior to you agreeing to the terms. You are not legally bound to represent the estate if you choose to decline. This is true even if the deceased named you as the executor.

If the individual does not comply with the bond’s terms, another party could make a claim against the bond. When this happens, a surety company which guarantees the bond will be required to pay out on the claim. This will result in the personal representative having to pay back the total amount of the bond, plus interest to the surety company.

Is a Probate Bond Necessary?

Some wills will require a probate bond. Others specifically state that it is not required. You may wish to consult a probate lawyer in St. Peters, MO to find out whether or not a probate bond applies to your situation. If so you may need to ask the lawyer or surety company to help you with the bonding process in order to begin the probate process.

Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?
Whether you are about to begin the probate process or have concerns about your estate plan, a probate lawyer from Legacy Law Center can help. Call today for your free and confidential consultation with a probate lawyer St. Peters, MO families trust.