Ohio Executor Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
October 5, 2022
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain an Ohio Executor bond.
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 executors and administrators handling the estates of deceased Ohio residents or property owners
- Purpose: To ensure estate beneficiaries and creditors receive compensation if the executive or administrator mishandles the estate’s assets
- Who Regulates Executors and Administrators in Ohio: The probate court of the county with jurisdiction over where the deceased individual resided or had property
Ohio Statute 2109.02 requires all executors and administrators of an estate to be appointed by a court before assuming their fiduciary duties. The Ohio legislature enacted the appointment requirement to ensure that executors and administrators do not mismanage the estate’s assets. To provide financial security for the enforcement of this requirement, most executors and administrators must purchase a probate surety bond to be eligible for appointment.
What is the Purpose of the Ohio Executor Bond?
Ohio requires executors and administrators 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 executor/administrator fails to abide by the regulations outlined in Ohio Statute 2109.04. Specifically, the bond protects beneficiaries and creditors if the executor/administrator mismanages the estate’s assets or fails to submit accurate reports to the probate court. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the estate’s beneficiaries and creditors if the executor or administrator violates their fiduciary duties.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Ohio Executor Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Ohio Executor bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Probate” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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How is the Bond Amount Determined?
Ohio Statute 2109.04 grants the probate court the authority to determine the required bond amount on a case-by-case basis. However, the bond must be at least twice the estimated value of the estate, including the estimated annual real property rentals the estate will generate.
The court may reduce the required bond amount at any time if good cause is shown to do so.
What are the Underwriting Requirements for the Ohio Executor Bond?
Most surety companies will examine the following factors when determining eligibility for the Ohio Executor bond:
- Fiduciary’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 executor/administrator is replacing a prior fiduciary
- If the fiduciary 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 Ohio Executor Bond Cost?
Surety companies typically determine the premium rate for executor 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 Ohio Executor bond:
$1,500,000 Executor Bond Cost
|Bond Amount||Premium Rate||Total Bond Cost|
|Total cost of $4,715|
Who is Required to Purchase the Ohio Executor Bond?
Ohio requires executors and administrators to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a fiduciary appointment. To paraphrase Ohio Statute 2109.01, an executor is a person nominated in the deceased individual’s will to administer their estate. Likewise, an administrator is responsible for administering the estate of a deceased individual who either did not nominate them in their will or died without one.
Executors and administrators are not required to purchase a bond if they are the surviving spouse or next of kin and are entitled to the entire estate (unless the will explicitly requires a bond).
The probate court may waive the bond requirement if the estate’s total value (including annual real property rentals) is less than $10,000.
How do Executors and Administrators Become Appointed in Ohio?
Executors and administrators in Ohio must navigate several steps to become court-appointed fiduciaries. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to Ohio’s probate statutes for details on the process.
Step 1 – Determine Priority
Priority to serve as an executor or administrator shall be granted in the following order:
- Executors nominated in the will
- Persons nominated by an executor
- The surviving spouse if they are an Ohio resident
- To any next of kin if they are an Ohio resident
- Qualified Ohio residents, the state attorney general or their designee, the Department of Medicaid (if applicable), or any creditor of the estate
Step 2 – Hire an Attorney
Although not explicitly required, it is highly recommended that executors and administrators hire an attorney to assist with the probate process.
Step 4 – Contact the Probate Court
Persons with priority must contact the probate court in the county with jurisdiction over the estate to obtain their appointment. A representative of the court will walk the executor/administrator 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, executors and administrators must purchase a surety bond (limits outlined above).
How do Ohio Executors and Administrators File Their Bonds?
Executors and administrators should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the probate court in the county with jurisdiction over the estate.
The surety bond requires signatures, including witness signatures, from both the surety company that issues the bond and the executor/administrator. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Court where the bond is to be filed
- Name of the deceased individual
- Legal name of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name and address
- Bond amount
- Name, address, and phone number of the insured’s attorney (if applicable)
- Value of the estate’s real estate
- Date the bond is signed
What can Ohio Executors and Administrators do to Avoid Claims Made Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims against their bonds, executors and administrators in Ohio must ensure that they:
- Fulfill their fiduciary duties
- Do not mismanage the estate’s assets
- Deliver an accurate account of the estate’s assets to the probate court
- File accurate reports on the administration of the estate