TITLE 12

Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations

Administration of Decedents' Estates

CHAPTER 15. LETTERS TESTAMENTARY AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION

Subchapter II. Bond


Prior to receiving letters, a personal representative shall qualify by filing with the Register of Wills any required bond.

Code 1852, §§ 1792-1798; Code 1915, § 3348; Code 1935, § 3813; 42 Del. Laws, c. 139, § 1; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 1521; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1.;

No bond shall be required of a personal representative prior to receiving letters, except:

(1) When an executor or other personal representative is appointed to administer an estate under a will containing an express requirement of bond; or

(2) When bond is required by order of the Court of Chancery under § 1524 of this title.

A bond otherwise required by any will may be dispensed with upon determination by the Court of Chancery that it is not necessary or desirable.

63 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1.;

If bond is required and the provisions of the will or court order do not specify the amount, the amount of the bond shall be fixed by the Register of Wills in an amount which shall not be less than the best estimate that can be made of the decedent's personal estate. The personal representative shall execute and file with the Register a bond with surety, or with other suitable security in an amount not less than the bond. The Register shall determine that the bond is duly executed by a corporate surety, or 1 or more individual sureties whose performance is secured by pledge of personal property, mortgage on real estate or other adequate security. On petition of the personal representative or other interested persons, the Court of Chancery may excuse a requirement of bond, increase or reduce the amount of the bond, release sureties or permit the substitution of another bond with the same or different sureties. In increasing or decreasing the amount of the bond the Court shall take into account, inter alia, whether the will excuses the requirement of bond.

Code 1852, §§ 1792-1798, 1800; 15 Del. Laws, c. 468; Code 1915, §§ 3348, 3350, 3352; Code 1935, §§ 3813, 3815, 3817; 42 Del. Laws, c. 139, § 1; 12 Del. C. 1953, §§ 1521, 1525, 1527; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 199, §§ 4, 5; 63 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1.;

Any person apparently having an interest in the estate worth in excess of $2,000, or any creditor having a claim in excess of $2,000, may make a written demand that a personal representative give bond. The demand must be filed with the Court of Chancery and a copy mailed to the personal representative, if appointment and qualification have occurred. Upon finding that bond is necessary or desirable the Court may order bond but the requirement ceases without order of Court if the person demanding bond ceases to be interested in the estate, or if bond is excused as provided in this section or § 1523 of this title. After bond has been ordered and until the filing of the bond or cessation of the requirement of bond, the personal representative shall refrain from exercising any powers of office except as necessary to preserve the estate. Failure of the personal representative to meet the requirement of bond by giving suitable bond within 10 days from notice is cause for removal and appointment of a successor personal representative.

63 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The following requirements and provisions apply to any bond required by this subchapter:

(1) Bonds shall name the State as obligee for the benefit of the persons interested in the estate including without limitation the legatees, devisees and other beneficiaries thereof, and shall be conditioned upon the faithful discharge by the fiduciary of all duties according to law;

(2) Unless otherwise provided by the terms of the approved bond, sureties are jointly and severally liable with the personal representative and with each other. The address of sureties shall be stated in the bond;

(3) By executing an approved bond of a personal representative, the surety consents to the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery in any proceedings pertaining to the fiduciary duties of the personal representative and naming the surety as a party. Notice of any proceedings shall be delivered to the surety or mailed to the surety by registered or certified mail at the surety's address as listed with the Register of Wills where the bond is filed;

(4) On petition of a successor personal representative, any other personal representative of the same decedent or any interested person, a proceeding in the Court may be initiated by a surety for breach of the obligation of the bond of the personal representative;

(5) The bond of the personal representative is not void after the first recovery but may be proceeded against from time to time until the whole penalty is exhausted.

(b) No action or proceeding may be commenced against the surety on any matter as to which an action or proceeding against the primary obligator is barred by adjudication or limitation.

63 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

If any interested person objects to the amount of the bond as provided in § 1523 of this title or the condition of the bond as provided in § 1525 of this title, such person may petition the Court of Chancery and the Court shall fix the amount and condition of the bond.

59 Del. Laws, c. 384, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1.;

The bond of a personal representative shall be liable for all money received for taxes of this State or the United States or for any penalty assessed against the personal representative for failure to file a tax return of this State or the United States within the period prescribed by law.

25 Del. Laws, c. 225, § 4; Code 1915, § 149; 37 Del. Laws, c. 8, § 1; 40 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 1; Code 1935, § 140; 42 Del. Laws, c. 58, § 2; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 1523; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 353, § 4.;

(a) The execution of the required bond shall be sufficient without any certificate of approval by the Register of Wills.

(b) The Register shall provide safekeeping for every bond.

Code 1852, §§ 1801, 1802; Code 1915, § 3351; Code 1935, § 3816; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 1526; 59 Del. Laws, c. 384, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1.;