Guardianship bonds are routinely ordered by courts to protect those placed in the care of guardians.
What Is a Guardianship?
A guardianship, according to LegalZoom, is:
A legal proceeding to determine whether a person is legally incompetent and should have a guardian appointed to care for the person or the person’s financial matters.
The most frequent reasons courts order guardianships include Alzheimers’s disease, dementia, coma, stroke, brain injury and mental incapacitation. Guardianships can also be awarded for minors. Depending on the circumstances, courts can define the specific scope of a guardianship. For example, guardianship can be of the person, which generally refers to medical and personal decisions. Guardianship can also entail financial and property management.
Once appointed by the court, a guardian has the legal right to make decisions for the ward, sometimes also referred to as the incapacitated person (IP).
Why Do Courts Request Guardianship Bonds?
The legal proceedings and terminology for guardianships differ somewhat by state. For example, in New York Courts, when hearings result in the judge deciding to appoint a property guardian, a bond will typically be requested—and must be secured before the Guardianship Commission can begin:
A fiduciary bond is court-ordered protection, a form of insurance. It is not protection for the guardian but it is protection for the person who needs a guardian. By issuing a bond the bonding agency agrees to repay the ward any money that might be lost because of the guardian’s actions or mistakes.
These required court bonds are often known as guardianship bonds. Ultimately, the judge makes the decision on whether a bond is needed to protect the interest and affairs of the ward in accordance with applicable state law. The judge also sets the amount, based on a percentage of the value of the ward’s assets and income. When ordering a bond, the judge will provide an “Order and Judgment” indicating the amount.
Securing A Guardianship Bond Quickly
Importantly, once a judge orders a guardianship bond, it must be obtained quickly because a guardian is not authorized to begin duties—and protect the assets of the ward—until the bond has been filed—usually with the county clerk.
A leading provider of guardianship bonds—in New York and across the country, is Colonial Surety Company. Uniquely, Colonial Surety’s user-friendly online system can provide newly appointed guardians (and those renewing their bonds) with direct, digital bonds—instantly. Colonial provides all types of court bonds directly to customers—this includes guardianship, fiduciary, administrator and personal representative bonds.
The steps are easy — get a quote online, fill out your information, satisfy underwriting requirements, and enter your payment method. Print or e-file your bond. You can even do it from your phone or laptop while still in the court room. It’s that simple! Obtain Your Guardianship Bond Now!
Assistance For Guardians In New York
Recognizing that newly commissioned guardians may need help as they take on their court-appointed duties, the Guardian Assistance Network offers information and training. Topics include how to:
- Set up a Guardian bank account.
- Write reports and accountings required by the court.
- Provide referrals for services and for help applying for government benefits.
- Make a plan for the ward that allows as much independence as possible.
- Locate resources that will help you care for your ward.
Innovations In Court Bonds: Good News for Attorneys
In addition to providing bonds directly to the general public, Colonial Surety provides an innovative Partnership Account to help busy attorneys save time. This free business service provides attorneys with user-friendly client management dashboards to coordinate, view, complete and e-file the court and fiduciary bonds clients need.
Often, lawyers and their clients are left shuffling as they scurry to secure court bonds and respond to deadlines. Colonial’s direct, fully digital, user-friendly system reduces the time, hassle and expense typically associated with antiquated processes.
Attorneys are invited to obtain a free Colonial Surety Partnership Account® to streamline the bonding process. Our unique Partnership Account® will increase your efficiency—and lower costs for clients. See for yourself today: Colonial’s Partnership Account for Attorneys.
Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and most Territories.