A probate bond is an insurance policy for associated parties of the decedent should the executor breach a fiduciary duty while administering the decedent’s estate during probate.

The bond’s size generally correlates with the estate’s size.  For example, per Probate Code § 8482(a)(1)-(3), “the court in its discretion may fix the amount of the bond, but the amount of the bond shall be not more than the sum of:

  1. The estimated value of the personal property.
  2. The probable annual gross income of the estate.
  3. If independent administration is granted as to real property, the estimated value of the decedent’s interest in the real property.”

A bond is not required in the following situations:

  • The will waives bond. Prob Code §8481(a)(1). It should be noted that the court may require bond even though the will waives the requirement of bond if:
  • All beneficiaries in writing waive bond and the will did not require bond or there is no will. Probate Code §8481(a)(2).
  • A trust company is appointed executor. Probate Code §§83, 301(a).