Does an Executor Need a Bond?
An executor bond (also referred to as an estate bond,
fiduciary bond, or probate bond) is essentially insurance for the person who is
administering your estate. It is meant
to ensure that a dishonest executor does not defraud the estate and run off with
all the assets. In the event the executor
was to take off with the money, the company that issued the bond would
reimburse the estate and then pursue the executor for the funds.
While a bond sounds like a good idea, it has several
downsides. They are pretty
spendy—running into the thousands of dollars for larger estates. The cost of the bond comes from the estate,
thus reducing the assets going to beneficiaries. And it can take time to secure the bond,
causing more delay in the probate process.
For these reasons, some testators choose to waive the bond
requirement if they trust their executor.
Additionally Washington does not require a bond if the personal representative
is the surviving spouse and it appears that the entire estate will be
distributed to that spouse. Furthermore, if a bank or trust company is
appointed as a personal representative, the bond is also waived.