San Antonio, TX asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: Can you avoid getting a probate bond without a will?

My mother passed away recently, and she didn't have a will. I contacted an attorney to take care of her estate, and I'm getting the death certificates he needs.

He told me that since she didn't have a will, I'd have to get a bond. The problem is I don't have the money to pay for a bond. Is there a way to avoid having to get a bond?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Probate court rules can vary from county to county, but in your situation, a "family agreement", which usually deals with matters of both distribution and procedures, would be a good place to provide that you are to be the personal representative and that you are to serve without bond (your expenses as Administrator, as well as some amount of fee, is commonly allowed to be paid by the Estate; consequently, an agreement signed by all beneficiaries at law, e.g., the family, will increase their distributions by lowering the Administrator's expenses).

A family agreement, in writing, should also obviate any contest of your appointment as personal rep, as well as to amount and timing of distributions, payment of debts, etc.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.