Kansas Personal Representative Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: Calculated based on a tiered structure
- Bond Amount: Determined on a case-by-case basis (more on this later)
- Who Needs it: Most personal representatives handling the estates of deceased Kansas residents or property owners
- Purpose: To ensure estate beneficiaries and creditors receive compensation if the personal representative mishandles the estate’s assets
- Who Regulates Personal Representatives in Kansas: The district court with jurisdiction over where the deceased individual resided or had property
Kansas Statute 59.2204 requires all personal representatives of an estate to be appointed by a court before assuming their fiduciary duties. The Kansas legislature enacted the appointment requirement to ensure that personal representatives do not mismanage the estate’s assets. To provide financial security for the enforcement of this requirement, the court may require the personal representative to purchase a probate surety bond to be eligible for appointment.
What is the Purpose of the Kansas Personal Representative Bond?
Kansas requires personal representatives to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to being appointed as a fiduciary over an estate’s assets. The bond ensures that the estate’s beneficiaries and creditors will receive compensation for financial harm if the personal representative fails to abide by the regulations outlined in Kansas Statute 59-1101. Specifically, the bond protects beneficiaries and creditors if the personal representative engages in acts of fraud or mismanages the estate’s assets. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the estate’s beneficiaries and creditors if the personal representative violates their fiduciary duties.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Kansas Personal Representative Surety Bond?
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How is the Bond Amount Determined?
Kansas Statute 59-1101 grants the court the authority to set the required bond amount on a case-by-case basis. However, the bond must be a minimum of 125% of the value of the estate’s personal property plus the estimated annual income the estate will generate. Any interested person, including the personal representative, may petition the court to increase or reduce the required bond amount.
What are the Underwriting Requirements for the Kansas Personal Representative Bond?
Most surety companies will examine the following factors when determining eligibility for the Kansas Personal Representative bond:
- Personal representative’s credit history (not considered for bonds with limits less than $25,000)
- Whether or not the estate has an attorney (not considered for bonds with limits less than $25,000)
- How long the fiduciary appointment is for
- Whether or not the personal representative is replacing a prior fiduciary
- If the personal representative has ever committed a felony
- If there are disputes among the estate’s beneficiaries
- Whether or not there is any ongoing business in the estate
- If the bond is being required by a creditor
How Much Does the Kansas Personal Representative Bond Cost?
Surety companies typically determine the premium rate for personal representative bonds based on a tiered structure. As a result, larger bond amounts will be charged a lower premium rate than smaller bonds.
The following table illustrates the pricing structure for the Kansas Personal Representative bond:
$1,500,000 Personal Representative Bond Cost
|Total Bond Cost
|Total cost of $4,715
Who is Required to Purchase the Iowa Personal Representative Bond?
Kansas requires personal representatives to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a fiduciary appointment. To paraphrase Kansas Statute 59-102, a personal representative is a court-appointed fiduciary responsible for administering a deceased individual’s estate. Personal representatives are referred to as executors if the deceased individual nominated them in their will (testate), administrators if they were not nominated if no will exists (intestate), and special administrators if they are temporarily appointed pending the appointment of a general personal representative.
Personal representatives are not required to purchase a bond if:
- The will explicitly waives the bond requirement
- If all estate beneficiaries file with the court a written waiver of the bond requirement before the will is probated
- They are a bank or trust company organized and having their main place of business in Kansas
The court may at any time require an otherwise exempt personal representative to purchase a surety bond if the need for one becomes apparent.
How do Personal Representatives Become Appointed in Kansas?
Personal representatives in Kansas must navigate several steps to become court-appointed fiduciaries. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to Kansas’s probate code for details on the process.
Step 1 – Determine Priority
Priority for appointment as a personal representative is granted in the following order:
- Persons nominated in the will
- The surviving spouse or any next of kin or any person nominated by them
- Any creditor
- Any other qualified person
Step 2 – Hire an Attorney
Although not explicitly required, it is highly recommended that personal representatives hire an attorney to assist with the probate process.
Step 3 – Contact the Court
Personal representatives must contact the district court with jurisdiction over the deceased individual’s estate. A representative of the court will walk the personal representative through the appointment process, provide them with all required forms, and answer any questions they may have.
Step 4 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Unless otherwise exempt, personal representatives must purchase and maintain a surety bond (limits outlined above).
How do Kansas Personal Representatives File Their Bonds?
Personal representatives should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the district court with jurisdiction over the estate.
The surety bond requires signatures from the company that issues the bond and the personal representative. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Court where the bond is to be filed
- Legal name of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name and state of incorporation
- Bond amount
- Date the bond is signed
- Date the personal representative was appointed
What can Kansas Personal Representatives do to Avoid Claims Made Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims against their bonds, personal representatives in Kansas must ensure that they:
- Do not engage in any acts of fraud
- Do not mismanage the estate’s assets
- Fulfill their fiduciary duties