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The Executor of my Great-Aunts Will wants to appoint me as the administrator of the Will. Do I need a surety bond?

Royalton, IL |

If I accept the administrator position of My Great Aunt's will, do I need a surety bond in the state of Illinois, Franklin County? The beneficiaries of the Will are my 2 sisters, my brother and myself. I read that All of the beneficiaries under the will of a deceased person can waive the necessity of bond of the personal representative.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

To be honest With you, your question does not make a lot of sense. An executor is somebody who is named in a Will the executor cannot appoint an administrator of an estate. Therefore I'm not sure what is going on in your situation.

In any case you should use a local probate attorney while acting as executor or administrator.

Best wishes.

Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his answers to AVVO inquiries are based on his understanding of Illinois law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Smolinski, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

Asker

Posted

My Great-Aunt died 3-11-2013. Two beneficiaries named in her Will. My father and his 75 year old brother. My father died 12-27-2012. Which then leaves my siblings and myself to his half of the inheritance. In the Will, my uncle was appointed by my Great-Aunt as the executor. He does not want the position & has asked me to take on the duties. If I accept, I wanted to know if I would need a surety bond in the state of Illinois, Franklin County area. I read that one would not be needed if the beneficiaries of the will signed a petition to waive the necessity of bond of the personal representative.

Posted

Your question is confusing. The executor cannot appoint an administrator. Is the executor seeking to step down or decline the appointment and is looking for a successor? What does your great aunt's will say about bond? Usually the surety is waived for the executor.

Asker

Posted

My Great-Aunt died 3-11-2013. Two beneficiaries named in her Will. My father and his 75 year old brother. My father died 12-27-2012. Which then leaves my siblings and myself to his half of the inheritance. In the Will, my uncle was appointed by my Great-Aunt as the executor. He does not want the position & has asked me to take on the duties. If I accept, I wanted to know if I would need a surety bond in the state of Illinois, Franklin County area. I read that one would not be needed if the beneficiaries of the will signed a petition to waive the necessity of bond of the personal representative. My Great-Aunts Will states that my Uncle could serve his executor position without the necessity of providing surety for his official bond and if for any reason he did not want to act as executor, then my Great Aunt nominated my father as executor of her Will a directed that he should serve as such without the necessity of providing surety for his official bond. But my father died 12-27-2012. My Great-Aunt specified that if my father failed to survive her that his share of her estate be distributed to his descendants, per stirpes.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

You need to file the will in the county where your great aunt last resided. You will also need to open a decedent;s estate. More than likely, you will not be required to pay a surety but you really need to hire an attorney to assist you. Best wishes and I am sorry for your losses.

Asker

Posted

The Will is already in the probate process. My Siblings & myself live in the county of Los Angeles. The Lawyer who drew up my Great-Aunts Will is also is residing over the estate. He tricked my elderly uncle into appointing my Great-Aunts friend/neighbor as the administrator of her Will. He originally went to the lawyers office on March 14,2013 to tell the lawyer he did not want the duties of executor & wanted me to carry them out. The lawyer told him he didn't work with out of state clients & said it would be easier for the probate process if he appointed someone local like my Great-Aunts neighbor. The lawyer also told my Uncle that the will stated everything in the estate had to be sold. When we received a copy of the will 4 weeks later we learned that we could retain everything in the estate. We chose to retain the estate & asked the woman who held the admin position to step down. After many meetings she agreed to step down. The lawyer drew up new documents for resignation of the admin and then a document for me to take over the position. He said my name could just replace the old admin's name on the surety bond and that would save the estate $1600. I agreed. He said everything should take about a week to turn over. But a week went by & he called to tell me the bonds company does not insure out of state persons & it is better to just leave the friend/neighbor on as admin of the estate because it would be cheaper also. I told him that's not what we want & I would get my own bond here in California. He then told of another option and said he would draw up new documents myself, my husband and my sister. I received an Oath and Bond of representative - individual surety, and my husband and sister received Affidavit of surety. we signed, notarized and mailed them back on 5-10-2013. It has been like a crazy rollercoaster dealing with this lawyer. If we were told in the beginning that we could retain the estate, we would not be dealing with all this extra legal stuff.

Posted

I interpret your question as follows: the Executor of your great aunt's will wants to step down and there is no available successor named in the will. Accordingly, the Executor is asking you to serve as Administrator CTA and have the probate court appoint you in this capacity. If this is the case, you are very likely to have to post a bond. Most wills only excuse bonds of named Executors, not individuals appointed as Administrators CTA. If you do not have an attorney, you would be well-advised to retain one prior to taking on this role. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.

Asker

Posted

My Great-Aunt died 3-11-2013. Two beneficiaries named in her Will. My father and his 75 year old brother. My father died 12-27-2012. Which then leaves my siblings and myself to his half of the inheritance. In the Will, my uncle was appointed by my Great-Aunt as the executor. He does not want the position & has asked me to take on the duties. If I accept, I wanted to know if I would need a surety bond in the state of Illinois, Franklin County area. I read that one would not be needed if the beneficiaries of the will signed a petition to waive the necessity of bond of the personal representative. My Great-Aunts Will states that my Uncle could serve his executor position without the necessity of providing surety for his official bond and if for any reason he did not want to act as executor, then my Great Aunt nominated my father as executor of her Will a directed that he should serve as such without the necessity of providing surety for his official bond. But my father died 12-27-2012. My Great-Aunt specified that if my father failed to survive her that his share of her estate be distributed to his descendants, per stirpes.

Asker

Posted

The Will is already in the probate process. My Siblings & myself live in the county of Los Angeles. The Lawyer who drew up my Great-Aunts Will is also is residing over the estate. He tricked my elderly uncle into appointing my Great-Aunts friend/neighbor as the administrator of her Will. He originally went to the lawyers office on March 14,2013 to tell the lawyer he did not want the duties of executor & wanted me to carry them out. The lawyer told him he didn't work with out of state clients & said it would be easier for the probate process if he appointed someone local like my Great-Aunts neighbor. The lawyer also told my Uncle that the will stated everything in the estate had to be sold. When we received a copy of the will 4 weeks later we learned that we could retain everything in the estate. We chose to retain the estate & asked the woman who held the admin position to step down. After many meetings she agreed to step down. The lawyer drew up new documents for resignation of the admin and then a document for me to take over the position. He said my name could just replace the old admin's name on the surety bond and that would save the estate $1600. I agreed. He said everything should take about a week to turn over. But a week went by & he called to tell me the bonds company does not insure out of state persons & it is better to just leave the friend/neighbor on as admin of the estate because it would be cheaper also. I told him that's not what we want & I would get my own bond here in California. He then told of another option and said he would draw up new documents myself, my husband and my sister. I received an Oath and Bond of representative - individual surety, and my husband and sister received Affidavit of surety. we signed, notarized and mailed them back on 5-10-2013. It has been like a crazy rollercoaster dealing with this lawyer. If we were told in the beginning that we could retain the estate, we would not be dealing with all this extra legal stuff.