Ford & Thomas Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency with a special focus on probate bonds.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process by which an estate is settled. In Virginia, the process of probate helps guide the fiduciary through the steps that need to be taken on behalf of the deceased, incapacitated, or minor to protect their assets. The probate process involves these main steps:
- Categorizing all assets, also known as an ‘inventory’
- Notification of heirs, creditors, and representatives
- Settle all debts
- Disbursement of remaining assets to beneficiaries
- Final Accounting (Triggers release of the bond once we receive it)
What are Probate Bonds?
Probate bonds, also referred to as executor, administrator, guardian, or conservator bonds, are essentially insurance policies that are put into place to protect an estate. Required by the Virginia probate court, a probate bond (also known as an ‘Estate Bond’ or ‘Fiduciary Bond’) is a type of court bond that ensures that the person qualifying as fiduciary will handle the estate appropriately.
The bond guarantees to the court, heirs, and creditors that the person qualifying will carry out all the terms of the will accurately. If the executor or administrator mishandles assets of the estate, the heirs and creditors can make a claim against the bond.
How much does a bond cost?
Probate bonds vary in amount; therefore, they will vary in premium cost. Usually, the bond amount will be based on the value of the estate which is established based on the initial inventory of assets.
For example, if the bond is set at $100,000, the premium would be $310.00. For a bond of $500,000, the cost would be $1,110.00. This premium is good for one year, fully earned. After one year, any premium not used will be returned pro rata based on the end date of the bond.
We have the special privilege of being approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide “Legal Custodian” bonds for members of our Military.