A guardian (sometimes referred to as a conservator) is someone assigned to take responsibility and make decisions for a minor or incapacitated person (ward). The guardian or conservator is required to hold a Guardian Bond or Conservator Bond for the duration of their obligations as a guarantee to the ward and the State of Florida that should financial harm arise out of the guardian’s negligence or fraudulence there is restitution available.
In addition to the above requirement, there is the Professional Guardian Bond and Public Guardian Bond. Further details on all bond types are provided below.
The limit for a Guardian/Conservator Bond must be no less than the value of the ward’s or absentee’s assets, primarily:
This bond limit can be increased, reduced, or even released by the court for good cause.
A Professional Guardian Bond must be $50,000 (or more if deemed necessary by the court). A Public Guardian Bond’s limit ranges between $5,000 and $25,000, determined by the judicial circuit.
The cost of getting a bond for guardianship or conservatorship is typically just a fraction of the bond limit. Underwriting, which evaluates the required bond limit, credit score, and estate information, will determine the approved rate. Click the “Apply” button above to get started.
The Guardian Bond is a requirement that is set up by the State to ensure that those who are charged with taking care of a ward (incapacitated person or minor) will not abuse their position and cause harm to the ward or their property. If there is an abuse of power, fraudulent activity, or mismanagement of assets, action can be taken on the bond to compensate for damages.
In essence, the bond is a backup plan that allows for reimbursement if the guardian breaks the terms of Florida Statutes, Chapter 744 that they promised to uphold when they were appointed guardianship.
The Guardian or Conservator Bond must be held by anyone who is appointed as a guardian and meets the qualifications listed in Section 744.351, Florida Statutes, or appointed as conservator in agreement with Chapter 747. The bond must be filed before the principal can exercise guardianship powers.
The court can appoint any Florida resident as a guardian, as long as they meet the requirements found in Section 744.309, Florida Statutes. Trust companies, health care providers, and for-profit corporate guardians may be authorized to serve as guardians should they meet the qualifications listed. A non-resident of Florida may be assigned if there is a familial tie to the ward.
A person would be disqualified from serving as a guardian if:
A guardian can be any person that is appointed by the circuit court to tend to the ward’s welfare or property. There are several types of guardianship that fall into this category, including temporary guardians acting in emergency situations. Any kind of temporary guardianship (like the ones mentioned in Part III of Chapter 744) may not require a surety bond during the temporary authority but will require a Guardian Bond once the person is officially appointed.
In cases where a ward does not have a family member, friend, or any other person, corporation, or bank to serve as a guardian, a public guardian will be appointed. A public guardian will need to have a Public Guardian Bond that is purchased from the local office of public guardian’s funds.
An individual who acts as a guardian for three or more wards is considered a professional guardian and must be registered with the Office of Public and Professional Guardians (a part of the Department of Elderly Affairs). A professional guardian will need to file a Professional Guardian Bond in addition to the Guardian Bond. If the person is a guardian for two or more family members and lives outside of Florida, he or she is not deemed a professional guardian.
A person can be assigned conservator of an estate of an absentee, meaning a military person who has been reported as missing in action, besieged, or captured by the enemy, or a person that has disappeared with suspicion of death (whether accidentally, naturally, or at the hand of another) or mental causes (like amnesia or mental derangement).
Our online application only takes a couple of minutes to complete. All you need to do is add in basic information (including your social security number for the soft credit check) and submit your application for review. One of our underwriters will reach out to you for additional required information, like personal financial statements.
Once Jet completes the review, you’ll receive an email with your approved quote where you can click the link in the email to purchase your Guardian Bond.
Guardian Bonds must be filed with the circuit court of the county in which the ward resides. Once your bond purchase is processed, Jet will get your surety bond form ready and send it to your preferred mailing address. You will need to sign the original bond form and submit it to the corresponding circuit court. A chart can be found at the bottom of the page with Florida circuit court information.
You will receive a digital copy of the bond to keep for your records along with a receipt in your purchase confirmation email.
If you need to cancel your Guardian Bond, send a request to [email protected]. Jet will request cancellation with the circuit court that holds the bond; keep in mind that the bond is still active until the court releases you and Jet from liability.
Simply cancelling the bond will not end your guardianship. If you are continuing with your guardianship, you are still responsible for meeting the security requirement and will need to procure a new bond. If you are resigning from guardianship, you will need to send a resignation of guardianship to the circuit court and go through the proper procedures to be released form further obligations and liability.
At the end of your bond term, Jet will send you a renewal notice for your Guardian Bond. The mailed and emailed notice will remind you to renew your bond and prompt you to submit any information that may be needed to determine your renewal premium.
Once your renewal is complete, Jet will send you a confirmation. As the guardian, you will be responsible for providing an annual guardianship report to the court that proves that your Guardian Bond is “alive and solvent”.