You may be required to post bond if the last will and testament does not waive the requirement, if you as the executor or administrator reside out-of-state, or if beneficiaries of the estate are minors. The purpose of posting bond is to ensure the administration of the estate is carried out properly. Specifically, to protect any beneficiaries or creditors from harm based on any negligence on the part of the executor or administrator. The required amount of the bond is based on the total estimated value of the estate and the executor or administrator usually only needs to post a percentage of the total bond.

Many insurance companies are able to assist in obtaining bond. The insurance company would then pay out the value of the estate if the administration is faulty based on the acts, or omissions, of the executor or administrator.The court may have a list of local agents that routinely do estate or probate bonds. A credit check may be required in applying for bond. The application often includes inquiries into the overall financial status of the executor or administrator and their personal assets. The executor or administrator can be released from bond upon proper completion of the administration of the estate. The court may need to formally grant release from bond which would require a petition for release to be filed. The principal posted for the bond can be returned if the executor or administrator had not done anything that resulted in loss to the estate.



New Jersey requires that a refunding bond and release be executed by a beneficiary to receive what was lef to them in the estate. This document serves two key functions. First, the beneficiary acknowledges their responsibility to return what was received if additional debts of the estate are uncovered and there are no other means to pay the debts. Second, the beneficiary releases the executor/administrator from their estate administration role. The form should not be executed before nine (9) months from date of death.

To complete the form you will need the beneficiary’s name and address as well as total value of cash and property received by the beneficiary from the estate. The executor or administrator of the estate must also be identified on the form. The form should be signed before a witness and a notary public.  A guardian appointed by the court can sign on behalf of a minor or incapacitated person. The trustee can sign for any assets passing to a trust. The executor or administrator should file the original signed, witnessed and notarized Refunding Bond and Release to the Surrogate’s Court with required filing fees.  Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like to receive a filed coy of the Refunding Bond and Release for your records.