- For Attorneys
If you choose to appoint your attorney to be the executor of your will, or administrator, with an agreed flat fee set in the will, can he steal your money when that time comes? Also, do you need to have a will made in the state that you reside in?
There is always the possibility that someone will act wrongfully. However, an attorney is and officer of the court and is subject to ethical as well as legal rules. An executor who steals from the estate can be held liable civilly and criminally, and an attorney can be disbarred as well. A trusted person should be named as executor. State laws may require an executor to post a bond in a certain amount to ensure that they carry out all the duties required of them in good faith. A bond may be an insurance policy required by a court for the benefit of a trust or an estate. The bond provides protection against the possibility of fraud or embezzlement by an executor. The will maker may request in the will that no bond be required.
A will is recommended to be drafted according to the laws of the state you reside in. However, a state will generally recognize a will from an another state as long as it complies with the laws of that state.
Please see the following FL statute:
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.