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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/12-13: New or Additional Bond

Many people who are named executor in a loved one’s will have never served in such a role before and have little basis of knowledge as to what will be expected of them. They are often surprised as to the amount of work involved and the amount of responsibility the role carries. The job of an executor, as well as an administrator in the case of intestate decedents, is the settling a decedent’s affairs and the transfer the decedent’s property to his beneficiaries or heirs. In order for the Probate Court to appoint someone to serve there are several qualifications that that person must meet, even if the person was named executor in the decedent’s will. In addition, the administrator must be willing and able to meet all of the procedural requirements, such as the bond requirements. If you have questions related to being appointed executor, administrator, or guardian, including the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 12-713- New or additional bond, contact the experienced Chicago estate administration attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Estate Bond Requirement

A bond is a type of insurance policy. While bonds are used for other purposes such as in criminal cases, an estate bond is used to protect the estate, beneficiaries, and heirs from negligence or malfeasance on the part of the administrator, executor, or guardian. With three exceptions, generally an estate bond is always required. The exceptions are:

  • Small estates- Estates with personal property valued at under $100,000
  • Will waives bond- The will includes a clause waving the bond requirement
  • Corporate representative- The representative is a company and not an individual

The reason that Illinois requires bonds is because of the vast responsibility for managing an estate and access to an estate’s assets. A representative is responsible for completing the tasks necessary to settle estate and distribution assets. The first task of the representative is to inventory and appraising the assets that are part of the probate estate. This may involve accessing the money in the decedent’s checking and savings accounts as well as the assets in the decedent’s investment accounts, if any. The representative will also be responsible for safeguarding estate property. This may mean making sure that a house and other real estate are properly secured and insured.

Once the representative has inventoried estate assets and secured them, his or her job is to pay estate debt. The last major duty of the executor or estate administrator is transferring estate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries (if there was a will) or statutory heirs (if there was no will). To learn more details about the job of an administrator or executor, contact an experienced Chicago estate administration attorney.

Throughout the administration process the administrator typically has complete access to and control over estate assets. The room for mistakes and the opportunity for wrongdoing are present. If during this process the administrator decides to steal estate assets or is negligent with them, the estate will suffer a loss. The purpose of the bond is to protect the estate from losses due to the representative failing to fulfill his or her duties properly.

The amount of bond is typically set at the beginning of the administration process even before the administrator is allowed to start the work. In fact, if the administrator is unable to secure a bond, then the Probate Court may revoke the administrator’s authority.

Under Illinois Probate Act, section 12-5- Amount of bond, the amount of bond is base on the value of the estate and the type of surety.

  • Individual surety: If an individual (not a company) issues the bond, the bond will be at least double the value of the personal estate.
  • Surety company: If a surety company issues the bond, the bond will be at least 1.5 times the value of the personal estate.
New or Additional Bond

Even though the amount of bond is set at the beginning of administration, based on changed circumstances, the Probate Court may change the bond requirements. A new or additional bond, other than an additional bond for the sale or mortgage of real estate, must be signed, approved and filed in the same manner as other bonds of representatives and relates back to the date of the issuance of the letters testamentary or letters of administration. For more information about when a new or additional bond may be required, contact an estate administration attorney in Chicago.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Further bond or security: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-10
  2. Counter security - release of surety: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-11
  3. Bond on appeal: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-14
  4. Suit on bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-15
Illinois Probate Act, Section 12-13- New or Additional Bond

A new or additional bond, other than an additional bond for the sale or mortgage of real estate, must be signed, approved and filed in the same manner as other bonds of representatives and relates back to the date of the issuance of the letters.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The bond requirement is there to protect the estate from negligence or malfeasance on the part of the representative. There are many rules related to the amount of the bond, increasing and decreasing the bond, waiving bond, and surety, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, 12-13- New or additional bond. If you have questions or concerns related to the bond requirement or any other requirements related to the appointment of an executor or administrator, it is important that you discuss your concerns with an experienced estate administration attorney serving Chicago. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have over 2 decades of experience representing clients in estate matters, including matters related to representative and details of administration. Contact an attorney in our office at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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