Using Estate Administration Bonds to Obtain Probate During Covid
Author: Andrew Cartwright
The Covid-19 pandemic has created many issues for businesses and government agencies. Among those issues, are court closures and resulting delays to civil matters. For estate administration and probate applications, this has effectively brought an already slow process to a grinding halt. Executors and lawyers are left wondering how they can get probate and liquidate estates if the courts are closed and backed up indefinitely.
One available solution is to use a surety bond known as an estate administration bond. A surety bond guarantees that the executor will distribute the assets according to a will or a court order. Typically a surety bond isn’t required or it can be waived, however with judges not willing to see cases, a surety bond is a way to get probate faster. In fact we have already had these types of requests and courts are accepting administration bonds as a reasonable alternative.
For example, imagine you are trying to have the courts dispense of the bond requirement and you have received the beneficiaries consents and other relevant documents. You will be held up because judges aren’t able to see these cases and issue the order to dispense of the bond. Surety bonds can be used to access probate in this case and we have already seen them accepted. If you need to close on the sale of a house, or the executor and beneficiaries are concerned that asset values may drop, this could be a fast and cost-effective option.
As this situation develops, we all need to adapt and a surety bond could be the answer to this challenge caused by Covid-19 court closures.