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Administrator Surety Bond

When someone is named as the administrator to an estate (similar to an "executor"), they often have to obtain a special kind of surety bond before taking up the responsibilities. This guide explains what those bonds are, why they matter, and what this means for the bonded party.

What is an Administrator Bond?

Administrators have the duty to disperse the assets of an estate legally, ethically, and according to the exact terms set by the courts. If they deviate from those responsibilities, the estate beneficiaries affected by those actions may file a claim against the administrator surety bond seeking compensation. Bonds guarantee payment for valid claims and hold the bonded party responsible for payment. In that way, they help keep administrators responsible and hold them accountable when they're not. That's why judges often required individuals acting as administrators to obtain a bond.

How does an Administrator Surety Bond work?

If the beneficiary of an estate feels the estate has been mismanaged by the administrator, they have the right to file a claim against the bond. If the claim proves valid after a thorough investigation, the bond company agrees to compensate the claimant if the bonded party is unable or unwilling to pay. Afterwards, the bonded party must pay that debt back, often with fees and interest added. Essentially, the bonds work as a way to ensure administrators act in good faith.

Administrator Bond vs. Executor Bond

Functionally, an executor bond and administrator bond work in the same way. The only real difference is that an executor is named in a will to oversee an estate but an administrator is not. You may also hear an administrator bond referred to as an "administration bond."

Who should get an Administrator Surety Bond?

Courts appoint administrators when someone dies without leaving a will or naming an executor. When making the appointment, the court will also decide whether a bond is required. If so, it's important to obtain one ASAP, otherwise the process of settling the estate cannot proceed.

Who are the parties involved in an Administrator Bond?

The administrator is only one of three different parties involved:

  • Principal - The administrator and also the person responsible for obtaining the bond and settling the claims.
  • Obligee - The estate beneficiaries and also the person(s) able to file claims against the bond.
  • Surety - The company that issues the bond, investigates claims against the bond, and pays on behalf of principals before collecting the debt later.

How much does an Administrator Bond cost?

Courts decide how big the bond must be based on the size of the estate and state statutes. The surety decides how much the bond costs - usually a small percentage of the total. Underwriters at the surety quote the premium price based on the applicant's credit score and history, so people with a lower score or a bankruptcy may pay more, but they won't necessarily be denied.

How are claims handled for Administration Bond?

The surety uses whatever resources necessary - lawyers, investigators, other experts - to establish whether an administrator violated his or her duties to the estate. The surety settles claims when the principal cannot. Finally, the principal pays the surety back whatever amount it paid in claims, plus penalties for having to rely on the surety for credit.

How to apply for an Administrator Surety Bond?

In most cases you simply need to complete a standard bond application and submit a copy of the court order with details about the bond requirements. Other documentation may also be required.

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When you need to get a quality bond at an affordable price in as little as 48 hours, work with a leading nationwide surety brokerage - Viking Bond Service. You can contact us through the contact form on this page or by calling 888-278-7389. To get your bond as quickly as possible, complete an online application at any time.

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