Fiduciary Bonds Under Florida Probate Statute
733.402 Bond of fiduciary; when required; form.
733.403 Amount of bond.
733.404 Liability of surety.
733.405 Release of surety.
733.406 Bond premium allowable as expense of administration.
733.402 Bond of fiduciary; when required; form.—
(1) Unless the bond requirement has been waived by the will or by the court, every fiduciary to whom letters are granted shall execute and file a bond with surety, as defined in s. 45.011, to be approved by the clerk without a service fee. The bond shall be payable to the Governor and the Governor’s successors in office, conditioned on the performance of all duties as personal representative according to law. The bond must be joint and several.
(2) No bond shall be void or invalid because of an informality in it or an informality or illegality in the appointment of the fiduciary. The bond shall have the same force as if the appointment had been legally made and the bond executed in proper form.
(3) The requirements of this section shall not apply to banks and trust companies authorized by law to act as personal representative.
(4) On petition by any interested person or on the court’s own motion, the court may waive the requirement of filing a bond, require a bond, increase or decrease the bond, or require additional surety.
733.403 Amount of bond.—All bonds required by this part shall be in the penal sum that the court deems sufficient after consideration of the gross value of the estate, the relationship of the personal representative to the beneficiaries, exempt property and any family allowance, the type and nature of assets, known creditors, and liens and encumbrances on the assets.
733.404 Liability of surety.—No surety for any personal representative or curator shall be charged beyond the value of the assets of an estate because of any omission or mistake in pleading or of false pleading of the personal representative or curator.
733.405 Release of surety.—
(1) Subject to the limitations of this section, on the petition of any interested person, the surety is entitled to be released from liability for the future acts and omissions of the fiduciary.
(2) Pending the hearing of the petition, the court may restrain the fiduciary from acting, except to preserve the estate.
(3) On hearing, the court shall enter an order prescribing the amount of the new bond for the fiduciary and the date when the bond shall be filed. If the fiduciary fails to give the new bond, the fiduciary shall be removed at once, and further proceedings shall be had as in cases of removal.
(4) The original surety shall remain liable in accordance with the terms of its original bond for all acts and omissions of the fiduciary that occur prior to the approval of the new surety and filing and approval of the bond. The new surety shall be liable on its bond only after the filing and approval of the new bond.
733.406 Bond premium allowable as expense of administration.—A personal representative or other fiduciary required to give bond shall pay the reasonable premium as an expense of administration.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
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