Definition: Bond

A bond is a written promise to pay money upon the occurrence of certain events. With regard to estate planning documents, bond may be required of those serving in a fiduciary role (i.e., personal representative, custodian, guardian, etc.) as insurance that they will properly perform their duties.

In Washington, bond for a personal representative is not required if:

  • the testator states in his or her will that he or she does not require bond;
  • the personal representative is also the surviving spouse or state-registered domestic partner, the estate appears to be solvent, and the spouse/partner will receive the assets of the estate; or
  • a bank or trust company is appointed as personal representative.

The court also has the discretion to waive bond.1