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Probate Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a bond? (for California) 

A bond is required of all personal representatives to protect interested persons, including beneficiaries and creditors, against the wrongdoing of the personal representative. A bond is not required if the Will waives the bond requirement, or if all beneficiaries sign a waiver of the bond requirement and the written waivers are attached to the Petition for Probate.

The court will ordinarily require a non-resident personal representative to file a bond even if the Will waives bond.

If a bond is required, the amount of the bond will be fixed based on the estimated value of the decedent's personal property, plus the value of the decedent's real property (if the personal representative is given full authority under the Independent Administration of Estates Act), plus the estimated value of the annual gross income of all of the estate's property.

Bond can be reduced by requesting limited authority (so that real property cannot be sold without a court order), or by agreeing to deposit marketable securities and/or cash not required for estate administration into a blocked account that cannot be withdrawn without a court order. See Local Probate Rules.

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