Wills, Estates, and Guardianships Can Require Fiduciary Bonds
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. One little phone call can turn your world upside-down in a flash. You could suddenly find yourself named the executor of a loved one’s will, a conservator to an incapacitated adult, or the guardian of a child who inherited an estate. Executors, conservators, and guardians are all fiduciaries.
A fiduciary is a person entrusted to the care or finances of another, or an estate if the person is deceased.
A Probate Bond can be required to ensure that the fiduciary acts in accordance with the law and in the best interest of the individual or estate. Probate Bonds include Administrator Bonds, Executor Bonds, and Conservator/Guardianship Bonds.
If someone dies intestate — meaning they did not have a will – an administrator is appointed by a court and will often be required to post an Administrator Bond. The Administrator is responsible for settling the estate and distributing assets.
When a person dies and has a will, an executor is named to oversee the will and make sure the deceased’s wishes are upheld. A judge can require an Executor Bond for various reasons. For instance, some courts require bonds for executors who live in a different state other than the deceased. Or it is possible that the deceased required a bond in the will.
Conservator / Guardianship Bonds
When the owner of an estate is living but unable to handle their own financial matters, a conservator is appointed and a Conservator Bond may be necessary. Three types of Conservator Bonds are common:
Conservator of an Adult: The fiduciary controls and manages an incapacitated adult’s financial estate.
Conservator of a Minor or Guardianship: The fiduciary controls and manages the minor’s estate until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years old in most states).
Department of Veteran Affairs: This Federal government program is intended to protect the benefits of disabled veterans who are unable to manage their own financial affairs.
PLEASE NOTE: All of the bonds mentioned above cannot be canceled, and premium is due until the bond is discharged by court order. Also, due to the complex nature of these bonds, most sureties require an attorney to be involved throughout the process. Lastly, Fiduciary/Probate laws are not universal and vary from state to state.
Have questions? SuretyGroup.com can help. Give us a call at 1‑844‑432‑6637 and our surety bond specialists can walk you through the bonding process.