by Phil Pavarini Jr.
We often answer calls from frustrated consumers seeking a probate bond. They've been muddling through the often cumbersome court process, being directed from office to office, desk to desk, scheduled for hearing after hearing, and paying fee after fee. More than once a court has, almost whimsically, advised a probate bond applicant that 'it's no problem, just call any insurance agent!'... only to find agent after agent is unable to help them.
One of the first requirements of any probate bond is to have an attorney. But bonds are based on the assumption their will be no risk for the insurance carrier to suffer any loss. The probate bond could be thought of as the carrier being you're 'co-signor' for the value of the bond. But if there's a loss, unlike insurance, the probate bond carrier would seek to recoup the loss from the applicant, the principal.
PERSONAL CREDIT SCORE IS TRACK RECORD OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND PREDICTS LIKELIHOOD OF FUTURE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
A less than perfect credit score, or history of failure to keep credit agreements, can indicate many things, but most often seems to be either financial irresponsibility or ignorance. A habitual low credit score predicts someones future compliance with financial obligations. Would you be co-signer for someone you didn't know who has already demonstrated financial irresponsibility or ignorance?
SEEK ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY
Our advice is first to seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney would help you walk through the process, and it's the first barrier to obtaining a probate court bond. If you're unable to be approved with one insurance carrier for probate bond due to credit issues, it's very likely none will approve. There are other options, non-standard probate bond markets, but in our experience, it's easier and less costly to find an alternate applicant. Some law firms may even offer to secure the bond and be the administrator, executor, themselves.