Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/24-14: Accounting by Surety on Bond of Representative
The representative, also called an estate administrator or executor, is the person appointed by the court to settled and distribute the estate of a deceased person. Typically, if the decedent left a will, the representative is called an executor, while in the absence of a will the representative is called an estate administrator. In each case, the representative is appointed by the Illinois Probate Court in Chicago that has jurisdiction over the estate. However, before the court will appoint a representative and issue him letters, the judge must be certain that the petitioner is qualified, and the representative may be requirement to post a bond. If a representative fails to perform his duties as required, or is no longer qualified to serve, then the probate court will revoke his letters. If you are a representative, beneficiary, or an heir and you have questions related to the requirements of serving as a representative, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 11-14- Accounting by surety on bond of representative, contact a skilled Chicago estate administration attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.Bond
A surety bond is essentially a contract between three parties: the principal (the representative or administrator), the obligees (the estate, legatees, heirs, creditors), and the surety (the company or individual who guarantees the performance of the principal). If the principal fails to perform the obligation, the surety pays the obligee.
As a Chicago estate administration attorney will explain, the reason that representatives are required to have a bond is that as part of their responsibilities involved in settling a decedent’ estate is that they often have almost unrestricted access to estate property, including cash, investments, real estate, and personal property. As a result there is a risk that either by negligence, ignorance, or fraud, the representative could cause the estate to suffer a financial loss. If that happens, creditors and distributees may not get what is legally due them.Amount of Bond
The amount of bond depends on multiple factor such as the value of the personal property in the estate and the type of surety. A surety can be an individual or a company. Under Illinois law if the surety is an individual the amount of bond required will be more than if the surety is a company.
- Individual surety: If an individual acts as surety, the bond will be at least 2 times the value of the personal property in the estate. For example, if the value of the personal property in the estate is $200,000, then the bond must be a minimum of $400,000.
- Surety company: If a surety company issues the bond, the bond will be at least 1.5 times the value of the personal estate property. For example, if the value of the personal property in the estate is $200,000, then the bond must be a minimum of $300,000.
While the amount of the bond that the court requires is set prior to when the representative begins administration, the judge can increase or decrease it based on circumstances that develop during the court of administration.Accounting by Surety on Bond of Representative
A representative of a decedent’s estate has a variety of duties and responsibilities including duty to file accountings with the probate court. Failure to fulfill those duties, failing to follow a court order, or violating fiduciary duties are grounds for revoking a representative’s letters of administration. Revocation of letters impacts the bond and the surety. Under Illinois Probate Act, section 11-14- Accounting by surety on bond of representative, if the letters issued to a representative are revoked and he fails or refuses to file an account within the time fixed by the court, the surety on his bond may present an account in his behalf.Accounting
The probate court requires that representatives file accountings. An executor whose letters have been revoked must file an accounting of his (or her) activities with respect to the estate up to the point of when his letters were revoked. An accounting is a type of financial statement of all of the transactions related to the estate. For example, the court will want an inventory of the estate’s assets, details related to income to the estate, disbursements from the estate, and distributions made from the estate. The statement must be itemized and detailed. As an experienced estate administration attorney serving Chicago will explain, if the court is not satisfied with the accounting, it can reject it.Related Statutory Provisions
- Stating an account: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-15
- Citation - attachment: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-16
- Devastavit: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-17
- Liability for mismanagement: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-18
If the letters issued to a representative are revoked and he fails or refuses to file an account within the time fixed by the court, the surety on his bond may present an account in his behalf.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
The skilled estate administration attorneys in Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients in a wide range of estate matters, and understand the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 11-14- Accounting by surety on bond of representative. If you have questions or concerns related to any accounting that must be filed with the Probate Court by the representative, or any other matter related to estate administration, estate litigation, or fiduciary responsibility, contact a skilled attorney in our office attorneys at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.