A personal representative is a person placed in charge of administering an estate after a death. Being a personal representative can be fulfilling and even pay well, but without proper knowledge and preparation, it can be a daunting job.
Anyone can be a personal representative, but there are people who have priority to the job. If a person is named as personal representative in the will, they will be first choice. Second choice generally goes to the spouse of the person who died, if they are named in the will to receive a gift. Third choice goes to any person named in the will to receive a gift, and last choice goes to an heir or creditor.
Duties of a Personal Representative
These are just a list of basic duties that generally required by law:
- Accouting and collecting the assets of the estate
- Overseeing the estate during the probate process
- Dispursing funds for creditors or bills
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries
For more information on duties, see Duties of a Personal Representative in Washington State.
When you are appointed or chosen to be a personal representative, you can’t start your duties just yet. You’ll first need to get a Personal Representative Bond.
What is a Personal Representative Bond?
A Personal Representative Bond is a type of court surety bond. The bond promises you will fulfill your duties as a personal representative.
If you fail to perform your duties, someone can make a claim against your bond.
A Personal Representative Bond protects the beneficiaries of the estate against fraud or improper mishandling of assets. The bond guarantees faithful performance by you, the personal representative.
How Much Does a Personal Representative Bond Cost?
When you become a personal representative, the court will set the bond amount. The bond amount will depend on the value of the estate and the amount of debt and taxes owed on the estate.
You’ll apply for your bond in the amount that the court ordered. For example, if the court ordered you to get a $25,000 bond, you will need to get a Washington Personal Representative Bond in the amount of $25,000.
This is not the amount you pay for your bond though.
The best way to see what you’d pay for a bond is to get a free quote.
For more information about what your duties are, check out the following resources: