Probate Bonds in MA
There are many reasons why you might need to get a court bond in MA, including that you’ve been appointed a fiduciary by the courts or a loved one and are in need of a probate bond. But not everybody knows what a probate bond is, how to obtain one, or when you might need one, so this discussion will be dedicated to these topics.
Today, you’ll learn all about fiduciary responsibilities, the different types of bonds that could apply in different situations, and what your major duties are if you're ever appointed as a fiduciary.
Probate Bonds: What They Are and When You Might Need One
A probate bond, which is also called a fiduciary bond, is a type of court bond that’s sometimes required for a court-appointed fiduciary, which is somebody who’s given power and authority over another person’s assets. For instance, if you had a sick father who could no longer take care of his own finances, you might be appointed as a fiduciary to be responsible for managing his assets on his behalf, and according to his wishes. A bond would act as a guarantee that you would carry out your fiduciary duties to the principal (your father) with honesty and in good faith.
Protection Provided by a Probate Bond (MA)
When you become a fiduciary in Massachusetts, you take on both a legal and an ethical responsibility to the principal. The purpose of a probate bond is to protect the principal from fraud, embezzlement, loss, and other dishonest acts. If it’s suspected that a fiduciary is acting unethically, a claim can be made against the bond, and if the claim is proven (meaning the fiduciary didn’t act honestly), then the surety company will reimburse the principal, leaving the fiduciary responsible for paying back the surety company.
Types of Probate Bonds and the Role of a Fiduciary
There are actually many different types of probate bonds, depending on the responsibilities of the fiduciary. Some of the most common types of probate bonds are executor, trustee, administrator, personal representative, guardianship, and conservatorship bonds. Depending on the fiduciary’s role, the different bonds can govern activities like:
- Caring for minors
- Being responsible for an incapacitated adult
- Managing assets and properties
- Having assets appraised
- Distributing assets
- Paying debts and collecting payments on behalf of a person or estate
No matter the type of bond, however, and regardless of your duties as a fiduciary, there is always one common responsibility, and that is to carry out your court-appointed duties honestly, faithfully, in accordance with the will or wishes of the principal, and in line with the expectations of the court.
In general, no matter what kind of court-appointed fiduciary you are, your major role is to look after the assets or responsibilities of another, and to do so according to their wishes. Most fiduciary duties involve finances or estate management, and sometimes this requires that you obtain a probate bond that guarantees you will carry out your duties honestly. No matter what kind of probate bond you're looking for, we can help you obtain a fiduciary bond in MA quickly and conveniently, so feel free to contact us today for more details.