A guardian or conservator, referred to as a fiduciary, is chosen by the court to act on behalf of a minor or person deemed incapacitated, called a protected person or ward. While fulfilling duties of a conservatorship or guardianship, Arizona courts often require fiduciaries to secure a surety bond which acts as a financial guarantee to the protected person should the fiduciary default on their obligations.
Jet makes the bonding process stress free; our goal is to get the conservator or guardian bonded quickly so they can focus on the wellbeing of the ward.
The bond limit is a custom amount, determined by the clerk of the superior court; the amount is calculated based on the following: the value of the estate property in the fiduciary’s control, plus one year’s estimated income, minus the value of deposited securities arranged through a court order for their removal, and minus the value of land the fiduciary is unable to sell without court approval.
Both the bond limit and personal credit of the fiduciary are evaluated to help provide an appropriate rate. The fiduciary will only pay a small percentage of the total bond limit.
Both conservators and guardians are chosen to take care of and make decisions for the ward. At this point, the court has determined the ward unable to do so themselves, either because they are under the age of 18 or because they are incapacitated. The duties of each role vary, as detailed below:
Guardian of Minor: Makes everyday decisions for the minor including care, education, shelter, finances, etc., in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes section 14-5209.
Conservator: Deals with the ward’s financial matters, including collection and distribution of estate assets, and other powers that fall in line with Arizona Revised Statutes sections 14-5424 and 14-5425.
The conservator and/or guardian is appointed to take responsibility for a minor or incapacitated person, which includes making decisions for the benefit of the ward. County probate courts throughout Arizona require a surety bond, in pursuant to 14-5411, for conservatorships and guardianships to safeguard the protected person’s assets and overall wellbeing.
The following are excluded from the bond requirement: public fiduciaries, national banking associations, banking permit holders, savings and loan associations conducting trust business, title insurance companies, trust companies certified by the financial institutions divisions’ superintendent at the department of insurance and financial institutions.
The order of appointment for guardianship or conservatorship is as follows:
A simple and efficient application process is important to Jet, as we know the conservator and guardian have essential duties to fulfill. All that’s needed is the bond limit, social security number of the fiduciary for a soft credit check, and basic information about the ward. Following a quick review by Jet, an approved rate will be sent to the fiduciary which is available to purchase directly online.
The bond is to be filed with the clerk of superior court in the county where the protected person resides. Once the bond is purchased, Jet signs the original bond form, adds the surety seal, and sends it to the fiduciary for completion and filing with the court. The conservator or guardian will also receive a copy from Jet to keep for their records.
The chart at the bottom of the page has contact information for each probate court in the State of Arizona.
Any bond purchased for one year is fully earned, which means if the bond is cancelled early there is no available refund. However, if the bond is purchased for two or three years up front and is cancelled early within the second or third year, there may be a portion of the bond premium that can be returned to the fiduciary. The court must first release the fiduciary and Jet (the surety company) of liability before the bond can be cancelled.
A surety bond is required for the entirety of the fiduciary’s appointment. Upon the bond term’s expiration, Jet sends a renewal notice to the conservator or guardian with plenty of time to provide payment. As long as payment is received, the bond will remain active and on file with the clerk of superior court. Fiduciaries obligations only will end once the following scenarios have occurred:
Conservatorships: The court must determine that the minor has reached 18 or the incapacitated person is competent prior to ending the conservatorship.
Guardianships: Obligations of the guardian terminate upon the death of the protection person, determination that the incapacitated person is competent, a substitution or resignation is provided to the court, or in cases involving a minor, the minor reaches 18.
Guardianships of Minors: Upon death, removal, or resignation of the guardian, or the death, adoption, marriage, or attainment of majority of the minor, the guardian’s authority and responsibility is terminated.
Whether a conservator or guardian, the court generally requests final accounts from the fiduciary. The court will only release the guardian or conservator of duties upon a thorough review.
With the important role of making critical decisions on behalf of another person, fiduciaries can find themselves in difficult situations. Acting in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes Title 14, and in the best interest of the protected person, guarantees a smooth process for the conservator or guardian. Fiduciaries often choose to work alongside an attorney to ensure they are completing duties according to the regulations.
Common causes of claims on the bond include:
Those who can file claims against the bond include estate creditors, an incompetent person who becomes competent, a minor protected person who reaches the age of 18, and any individual who has a contractual relationship with the ward and the contract is breached. A suit must be brought to the court who will decide whether or not to pursue the bond for restitution.
Jet will be notified of the claim payout request from the court. Jet conducts a thorough review of the details to ensure the claim is in fact legitimate prior to making payment. A valid claim will be paid out to the claimant(s) in the penalty sum, up to the full bond limit. Since guardians and conservators are responsible for their actions, they must reimburse Jet in the amount of the claim.
|County Courthouse||Phone||Mailing Address|
|Apache||928-337-7550||Apache County Superior Court House|
PO Box 365
St Johns, AZ 85936
|Cochise||520-432-8600||Clerk of the Superior Court|
PO Box CK
Bisbee, AZ 85603
|Coconino||928-679-7600||Clerk of the Superior Court|
200 N San Francisco
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
|Gila||928-425-3231||Superior Court of Gila County|
1400 E. Ash St. - 3rd Floor
Globe, AZ 85501
|Graham||928-428-3100||Clerk of the Superior Court|
800 W Main Street
Safford, AZ 85546
|Greenlee||928-865-4242||Clerk of the Superior Court|
PO Box 1296
Clifton, AZ 85533
|La Paz||928-669-613||Superior Court Clerk|
1316 Kofa Ave., Suite 607
Parker, Arizona 85344
|Maricopa||602-506-3668||Maricopa County Superior Court Clerk|
201 W. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Mohave County Superior Court
PO Box 7000
Kingman, AZ 86402
Lake Havasu City:
Mohave County Superior Court
2001 College Drive, #148
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Mohave County Justice Court
2225 Trane Road
Bullhead City, AZ 86442
|Navajo||928-524-4188||Navajo County Clerk of the Court|
PO Box 668
Holbrook, AZ 86025
|Pima||520-724-3200||Pima County Clerk of Court|
110 West Congress St, Room 152
Tucson, Arizona 85701-1317
|Pinal||888-431-1311||Pinal County Clerk of the Superior Court|
PO Box 2730
Florence, AZ 85132
|Santa Cruz||520-375-7700||Clerk of the Superior Court|
PO Box 1265
Nogales, AZ 85628
|Yavapai||928-771-3312||Yavapai County Courthouse|
120 South Cortez Street
Prescott, AZ 86303
|Yuma||928-817-4210||Yuma County Superior Court|
250 W. 2nd Street
Yuma, AZ 85364