Very often the Surrogate’s Court requires that an Executor or Administrator post a bond as a condition to their appointment as a fiduciary. A Bond in the Surrogate’s Court is typically within the discretion of the Judge. Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) Section 710 entitled “Objections which require bond from fiduciary not otherwise required to file bond”, provides various directions as to the posting of a bond.
A bond is simply a form of insurance to protect the estate creditors and beneficiaries from possible estate loses. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has discussed fiduciary bonds in earlier posts. When a person prepares a Last Will, one common provision is that the need to post a bond by the Executor is waived. On the other hand, in many intestacy administration cases, the Court requires that the Administrator post a bond as a condition to his appointment. A Surrogate Judge can use discretion in requiring a bond to protect the integrity of the estate. A recent Suffolk County Estate case entitled Matter of Estate of Pagliughi, decided by Suffolk Surrogate John Czygier, Jr. on August 14, 2018 involved the posting of a bond. In Pagliughi, the Court found that the estate fiduciary had moved out of New York and had also removed some estate property from New York. Under these circumstances and pursuant to the provisions of SCPA 710 the Surrogate ordered the fiduciary to post a bond.
I have represented many clients in connection with obtaining bonds to file with the Court. Estate Lawyers generally assist their clients with the bond application process. Sometimes it is difficult for a client to qualify for a bond. The surety companies which issue bonds always review the credit and financial status of the prospective administrator or executor. This is because the bonding company is essentially guaranteeing that the fiduciary will be monetarily responsible for any improper conduct. If the proposed fiduciary cannot qualify for a bond another proper person may need to act as the fiduciary. Sometimes it is necessary to have the local Public Administrator handle estate affairs.
If you have a situation where a Court wants a bond posted or have any question concerning a Surrogate’s Court bond, call me now for a free discussion. New York Trusts and Estates Attorney Jules Martin Haas, Esq. has been representing clients in New York Trusts and Estates matters and Surrogate’s Court proceedings throughout the past 30 years in New York, including Queens and Nassau Counties. If you or someone you know is involved with or has questions about a New York Estate, please contact me at (212) 355-2575 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, for an initial consultation.