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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/12-7: Deposit in Lieu or Reduction of Bond

A representative is a person or company appointed by the Illinois Probate Court to care for another person or manage the estate of another person. Examples of representatives include executor, administrator, or guardian. An executor is a person named by a testator in his or her will and formally appointed by the Illinois Probate Court to manage the estate of a decedent, while an administrator is a person appointed by the court to manage the estate of a decedent who passed away without a will. A guardian is someone person appointed by the court to serve as representative of a minor or a representative of a person under legal disability. The person who a guardian cares for is referred to as a ward. In addition to meeting the qualifications to serve as a representative, a representative must also post 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 12-7- Deposit in lieu or reduction of bond, contact the experienced Chicago estate administration attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Bond

A bond is a type of insurance. In Illinois, in most cases a representative must provide a bond in order to serve as representative of an estate or guardian. The purpose of a bond is to guarantee the performance of the representative’s duties in administering the estate, including managing estate property, paying all debts of the estate, and distributing the estate to the heirs or beneficiaries. The bond is designed to insure against the risk that the executor will mismanage estate property or misappropriate estate assets to the detriment of the heirs or beneficiaries. When a bond is required, typically it must remain in effect until the estate is closed. If you have questions or concerns about the bond requirement, contact a Chicago estate administration attorney.

Amount of Bond

The amount of bond that the court will require depends on the size of the decedent’s personal estate. Under the Illinois Probate Act, the basic determining factor as to the amount of the bond is the type of surety. If the surety is an individual surety, the bond will be at least 2 times the value of the personal estate. If a surety company issues the bond, the bond will be at least 1.5 times the value of the personal estate.

Nonetheless, there are factors which may cause the Probate Court to increase the amount of the bond. If the representative takes possession of the decedent’s real estate, the court will increase the amount. Also, if the estate is expecting a personal injury settlement that will be received by the representative, then the representative is required to get a bond that is either 1.5 or 2 times the amount of the funds. Any questions related to the bond requirement, including the amount should be directed to a skilled estate administration attorney in Chicago.

Deposit in Lieu or Reduction of Bond

While the representative generally must have a bond, there are occasions when the court will accept a deposit in lieu of bond, or reduction of bond.

  • Real estate. If the primary purpose for the appointment of a representative of a ward is the sale of the ward's interest, the Probate Court may waive the surety on the bond of the representative or may require a bon of under $1,000.
  • Public assistance. If the primary purpose for the appointment of a representative of a ward is the proper expenditure of public assistance awarded to the ward, the Probate Court may waive the giving of a bond by the representative.
  • Money from the Veterans Administration. If the primary purpose for the appointment of a representative of a ward is the collection of moneys awarded by the Veterans Administration to the ward, and other financial requirement are met, the Probate 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 if the conditions have been met.
Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Individual representative; oath and bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-2
  2. Surety: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-3
  3. When security excused or specified: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-4
  4. Amount of bond: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/12-5
Illinois Probate Act, Section 12-7- Deposit in Lieu or Reduction of bond

(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.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Estate administration is the process of settling a decedent’s estate that is managed by the Probate Court and by a court-appointed representative. Before a representative can move forward with his (or her) estate management duties, he must follow all of the procedural requirements, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 12-7- Deposit in lieu or reduction of bond. If you have questions or concerns related to the appointment of a representative, talk to an experienced estate administration attorney in Chicago. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have over 20 years of experience representing clients in estate matters, including matters related to probate and 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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