Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/12-6: Waiver or Reduction of Bond of Representative of Ward in Certain Cases
A representative is a person appointed by the court to care for another person or the estate of another person. Examples of representatives include executor, administrator, or guardian. An executor is a person nominated by a testator in his or her will and appointed by the Illinois Probate Court to settle the estate of a testate decedent, while an administrator is a person appointed by the court to settle the estate of an intestate decedent. A guardian, on the other hand, is person appointed by the court to care for a ward. A ward is a minor or a person with a disability. With a few exceptions, one of the requirements for serving as a representative is the posting of a bond to protect the estate, ward, or property of the ward. If you have questions related to being appointed a guardian, including the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 12-6- Waiver or reduction of bond of representative of ward in certain cases, contact the experienced Chicago estate administration attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.Bond
A bond is similar to insurance. If a specified event occurs the surety company or other person or entity that issues the bond must pay money to the aggrieved person based on the terms of the bond contract. With respect to a guardianship, the triggering event is usually a mistake or malfeasance by the guardian and the trigger obligates the surety company to pay money to the ward.
Illinois requires a bond because being a representative, whether an executor, administrator or guardian, requires the representative to have control or access over the money, personal property, or real estate that belongs to another person—the estate, beneficiaries, heirs, or ward. There is a certain level of risk that is present in such situations. The representative may make mistakes in the handling of the assets that result in a financial loss. It is also possible that the representative may shirk his or her fiduciary responsibility resulting in a financial loss. Thus, to protect the ward, beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors from representative negligence or outright theft, Illinois law requires most wards and other representatives to obtain a bond that can be used to compensate those rightfully entitled to funds if the representative mishandles the estate assets.
If you have questions or concerns about the bond requirement, contact a Chicago estate administration attorney.Waiver or Reduction of Bond of Representative of Ward in Certain Cases
While bond is generally required, there are instances in which bond can be waived or reduced.
- Sale of real estate. If the main reason for the appointment of a guardian of a ward is the sale of the ward's interest in real estate pursuant to Section 25-4, Sale of small real estate interest of ward, the court may waive the surety on the bond of the guardian or may limit it to an amount that is less than $1,000.
- Public assistance. If the main reason for the appointment of a guardian is to ensure the proper use of public assistance, the court may waive the bond requirement.
- Veterans. If the main reason for the appointment of a guardian is to ensure the proper the collection, disbursement or administering of moneys awarded by the Veterans Administration to the ward and other financial requirements are met, the court may waive the bond requirement or may fix the amount of the bond in a sum less than $500.
Like other types of insurance, the person purchasing it must pay a price for it—the “premium.” The cost of the bond will depend on a number of factors including:
- The creditworthiness of the guardian
- Size of the ward’s assets
- Type of assets
If you have questions or concerns about the cost of a bond or the process for getting a bond, contact an experienced estate administration attorney in Chicago.Multiple Representatives
If more than one person is appointed representatives of the same estate or person, the Probate Court may take a separate bond with sureties from each of the representatives, or a joint bond with sureties from both or all.Related Statutory Provisions
- Surety: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-3
- When security excused or specified: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-4
- Amount of bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-5
- Deposit in lieu or reduction of bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-7
(a) If the primary purpose for the appointment of a representative of a ward is the sale of the ward's interest in real estate pursuant to Section 25-4, the court may waive the surety on the bond of the representative or may fix the amount of the bond in a sum less than $1,000.
(b) If the primary purpose for the appointment of a representative of a ward is the proper expenditure of public assistance awarded to the ward under any Act of the General Assembly of this State, the court may waive the giving of a bond by the representative.
(c) If (1) the primary purpose for the appointment of a representative of a ward is the collection, disbursement or administering of moneys awarded by the Veterans Administration to the ward, (2) the net value of the ward's estate does not exceed $500, including accrued unpaid benefits to be received, (3) the benefits to be received do not exceed $60 per month and (4) substantially all income will be required for the maintenance of the ward and his dependents, the court may waive the giving of bond by the representative or may fix the amount of the bond in a sum less than $500. If the bond has previously been filed, it may be released upon the conditions prescribed in this Section upon proper accounting after notice to the Veterans' Administration Regional Office. If a bond has been waived or nominal bond only required, an adequate bond as otherwise required by this Section shall be required whenever the value of the estate exceeds $500 or for other cause appearing to the court.
Whether the job is that of a guardian, executor, or administrator, being a representative is a great responsibility. It is important that you understand all of the procedural requirements, including the rules related to getting a bond. The experienced estate administration attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients in matters related to guardianships, estate administration, and probate, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 12-6- Waiver or reduction of bond of representative of ward in certain cases. 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.