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Conservator or Guardian Bond Claims Guide

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04-05-2022

Guardian Bond or Conservator Bond

A ward (minor or incapacitated person) is often assigned a guardian or conservator (fiduciary) by the State of Florida to tend to their well-being or property. Because of the sensitive nature of this responsibility, a Guardian Bond or Conservator Bond is required to protect against financial damages from the guardian’s or conservator’s breach of duty. 

As the bond issuer, Jet Insurance Company provides a guarantee to the State that the ward (incapacitated person) will have an avenue for compensation for wrongful actions. But, Jet also serves the guardian by validating bond claims to protect the guardian against false allegations. 

How to Avoid Claims on a Guardian Bond or Conservator Bond

Guardian and Conservator Bonds are both conditioned on the person’s ability to faithfully perform their obligations in the best interest of the ward. Each state uses the terms differently, but in general, a guardian is tasked with making health decisions, while the conservator is in charge of the ward’s estate.

Guardianship claims may arise from:

Conservatorship claims look like:

Who Can File a Claim Against a Guardian/Conservator? Is There a Limit to the Amount of the Claim?

Claims can come from any person who believes that the guardian or conservator is abusing or neglecting their powers and causing harm to the ward or the assets being overseen. Complaints can even come from the ward themselves if they feel the guardian is not protecting them or their property. 

Any bond claim must be within the parameters of the Guardian Bond or Conservator Bond limit. These bonds have a limit that is determined by the courts and must be in an amount that equals the value of cash, assets, or property of the incapacitated person. 

When Can Claims Be Filed Against a Conservator/Guardian Bond Be Filed?

Typically, the fiduciary is liable for his or her actions for the entire active period of the bond and can receive claims at any time while exercising guardianship or conservatorship. Keep in mind that the bond is active until the Court releases the guardian/conservator and Jet (as the surety company) from liability. Although there is no further incurring liability beyond the release date, some states may allow claims to be filed for offensive actions that occurred during the active period. 

Claims Process for a Guardian Bond or Conservator Bond

Before a claim can be filed on the bond, there is a process for raising concerns and investigating the validity of those concerns. Read on to become familiar with the general process of complaints as they may progress into a bond claim. 

Let’s see how the bond claim process works using Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), as an example—a Guardian Bond will be used.

Complaint

When there is suspicion that a guardian or conservator is acting in violation of their obligation to protect the integrity of the ward or the ward’s estate, a complaint will be filed with the court. 

When Aurora was a child, she was placed into the custody of the three fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather to act as her guardians while she was not yet of age. Although they seemed up to the challenge, the three fairies had trouble with the intricacies of raising a human child without the use of magic, like cooking a meal or clothing the child as she grows. 

Close to her 16th birthday, Aurora meets Prince Philip, and let’s say she tells him of her childhood. Once he figures out that Aurora was the princess and has been the ward of the fairies, Philip comes to the conclusion that the fairies were incompetent in raising the young princess. He raises a complaint with the kingdom’s council so that Aurora can be compensated for the fairies’ failure to provide a stable environment. 

Investigation

The filing of a complaint would prompt the court into an investigation to determine whether the guardian is abusing their power or acting in a way that is not in the best interest of the ward. 

The council takes up Philip’s complaint and reviews the evidence brought forth against the fairies. It is determined that the fairies did not provide an environment that is conducive to a human child.

Judgment

If the court finds that the guardian/conservator has acted in a way that is harmful to the ward or the ward’s estate, the court will provide a course of corrective action for them to rectify the complaint. 

The council charges the fairies with providing compensation for damages that Aurora suffered. 

Recovery and Indemnification

It is possible for the guardian or conservator to comply with the court’s judgment and make amends at this step before a bond claim is filed. But, if the guardian or conservator is unwilling or unable to comply with the judgment, the complainant will proceed with filing a bond claim. 

Once a claim is filed on the bond, Jet will take a look into the evidence that is brought in support of the claim. Typically, once a court has investigated and found that an offensive action has occurred, there is little that can be countered for the guardian’s (or conservator’s) defense. Jet will be obligated to make restitution for damages via the bond. But, this payment is made on behalf of the guardian and the guardian/conservator must repay Jet in the amount that was paid out, as is the nature of surety bonds. 

The fairies aren’t able to make payment as directed by the council. So, Prince Philip files a claim on the fairies’ Guardian Bond. Since the bond is written with Jet, Jet checks the council’s judgment and sees that it was determined that the fairies failed to take proper care of the ward (Princess Aurora). Jet will pay the claim to ensure Aurora receives compensation. However, the fairies don’t get to fly away without repercussions; they must pay Jet back in the amount of claim payout per the bond agreement. 

Bond InformationLegislative Documents
AlabamaCode of Alabama, Title 26
ArizonaArizona Revised Statutes, Title 14
FloridaFlorida Statutes, Chapter 744
North CarolinaNorth Carolina Statutes, Chapter 35A
NevadaNevada Statutes, Title 13
OhioOhio Revised Code, Title 21
OregonOregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 125
TexasTexas Estates Code, Title 3