My name’s Neil Pedersen of Pedersen & Sons Surety Bond Agency and today I am going to discuss the new procedure in the COVID era for obtaining and filing bonds in Surrogate’s Court in the various counties of New York.
As we continually move through the pandemic, different procedures for filing bonds have been set up and put in place. The procedure for the subject of this article was changed as of January 7, 2021. As with everything during this time, that is subject to change, so you might want to check the Surrogate’s Court with whom you are working to verify the most current procedure for filing a bond.
In general, the court clerk from the specific county sends an email letting you know that the court has determined a bond amount. The bond must be filed in the specific dollar sum amount determined by the court for the specific estate for which you have filed a petition.
The bond can be an Administration bond, which means that the decedent died without a will. It could be a Preliminary Executor’s bond, which means that you’re applying for preliminary Letters Testamentary where you’re taking over the estate’s assets but the will has not been admitted. Or it could be various types of bonding that could be required such as an Administrator DBN, Administrator CTA.
The court clerk will send you an email stating that the bond must be filed in a specific amount. You can then contact my office. I would generally need a copy of the petition and maybe some other documents, and a copy of that email, after which I can respond with the bond application for your client to complete. Once the completed bond application is submitted and approved by my office, we can send you an email with the invoice. Once the premium is paid, the bond will be issued. The applicant must sign the original bond on the first page and have their signature notarized on the second page prior to filing.
The court also requires the original signed and executed bond delivered to the court by uploading a copy to the New York State Court e-Filing system and paying the required fee. It’s $20 if the bond is below $10,000; it’s $30 if the bond is above $10,000. You must also send the original to the court overnight via a special mail service such as FedEx, UPS, USPS. The courthouse will provide you with an address.
This is certainly a departure from the normal filing process where you just go to the court directly with the actual bond, file the original, and get a receipt proving that the bond’s been filed. This new process is an update from the prior way filing was done.
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