What is a waiver of fiduciary bond?

My husband’s father passed away without a Will. His wife (who is not my husband’s mother) wants my husband to sign a waiver of fiduciary bond. Should he sign this? According to her his father wouldnt have much left after all debts are paid. My husband is not in the position to hire a lawyer at the moment. Is there any other way he can look at the bills and the balances of accounts without having a lawyer? It is my understanding that the lawyer she has is looking out for her best interests not my husband’s.

Asked on November 20, 2014 under Estate Planning, Maryland


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The attorney hired by the person who is going to act as the Personal Representative of the estate has an obligation to the estate and the fiduciary only, not necessarily the beneficiaries.  I say not necessarily because there is obviously an obligation to make sure that everyone is treated properly under the law, but he or she does not have to answer to you, account to you, etc., on a regular basis. Yes, your husband has a right to ask for a formal accounting of the estate and once the estate paperwork is filed he can view the petition which is a public record.  Generally if there is no Will that allows a fiduciary to waive a bond, the fiduciary must post a bond while acting on behalf of the estate.  This allows the beneficiaries (like your husband) recourse and something to go after should the fiduciary (his step mother) not act properly with the money. He may not want to waive but that is a judgement call on your part. Good luck.

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