Guide to California Conservatorship Bonds

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What is a California Conservatorship Bond?

It is monetary security that must be submitted to the California probate court by the person or organization who has been appointed by the court as conservator.

The purpose of this bond is to make sure that the conservator will fulfill his/her/its legal obligations to the conservatee. This bond will also provide financial relief to the conservatee in case the conservator does any legal wrongdoings.

A bond must be submitted before the Letters of Conservatorship is issued to the conservator by the court clerk. This letter will serve as proof that the court-appointed person can act as a conservator.

A few of the permitted duties (known as “powers”) that the conservator must perform will be listed in the Letters of Conservatorship.

 

Who is required to get a California Conservatorship Bond?

Conservators who are appointed by a probate court judge. Conservators are people who are tasked to provide personal and/or financial care to an incapacitated person (known as conservatee).

There are several people who can file for a petition as a conservator. Here are some of them:

  • The conservatee’s spouse or domestic partner
  • The conservatee’s adult child
  • The conservatee’s parent
  • The conservatee’s sibling
  • A relative of the conservatee
  • Any other interested person or friend of the conservatee
  • Any interested state or local entity or agency
  • A private professional fiduciary

The court’s first choice will usually be a family member or a relative. If there’s none, the court will consider someone else—someone who will faithfully and honestly fulfill the role of a conservator.

TYPES OF CONSERVATORS

In California, both conservators and guardians are known as conservators. The distinction is made by including the specific function of the conservator.

Section 1801 of the California Probate Code clarifies this distinction:

  • Conservator of the Person“appointed for a person who is unable to provide properly for his or her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter.”
  • Conservator of the Estate“appointed for a person who is substantially unable to manage his or her own financial resources or resist fraud or undue influence.”

 

A conservator can be further classified into a general, limited, or temporary probate conservatorships.

TYPES OF CONSERVATORSHIP
  • General Conservatorship – the conservator’s role is to take care of adults who cannot do so on their own. This includes handling their finances. These are the elderlies or people who have become severely impaired due to an accident.
  • Limited Conservatorship – for persons who have been deemed as developmentally disabled adults. A conservator is expected to take care of the person as well as his or her finances. Unlike general conservatorship, limited conservatorship does not require a high level of care.
  • Temporary Conservatorship – a judge may grant temporary conservatorship if the conservatee requires immediate help while waiting for the outcome of a general or limited conservatorship petition.

There’s another type of conservatorship that is unique to California: Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) conservatorship.

When someone is appointed as an LPS conservator, that person will take care of a person who has been diagnosed by a licensed psychiatric as having one of the serious mental illnesses listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV).

The LPS conservator’s primary role is to oversee the comprehensive medical treatment of the conservatee.

LPS is based on the 1969 California law that pertains to mental health commitment. It’s named after its sponsors: Frank D. Lanterman, Nicholas C. Petris, and Alan Short.

Section 8480 of the California Probate Code: “if two or more are appointed as conservators, the court may require either a separate bond from each or a joint and several bond.”

 

How does a California Conservatorship Bond work?

It is an agreement between three people, namely:

Principal – conservator/fiduciary

Obligee – court (ultimately the beneficiaries)

Surety – surety bond company who will issue and guarantee the bond

Through this bond, the Surety is guaranteeing that the Principal will faithfully and honestly perform his or her legal obligations as a conservator.

If the Principal commits any act that is against the California Probate Code or the guidelines set by the court, the Obligee will be eligible to file a claim.

If such happens, the claim will first be investigated by the Surety before it is settled. If it’s valid, the Surety will pay the claim on behalf of the Principal. Once the Surety has settled the claim, the Principal will reimburse the Surety for the payments made.

How much does a California Conservatorship Bond cost?

The bond cost (also known as the premium) will be based on a percentage of the total bond.

Typically, the premium will be 0.5% of the bond amount.

Example:

Bond amount – $200,000
Bond premium percentage – 0.5%
$200,000 x 0.005 = $1,000 is the bond premium

Bonds larger than $250,000 are based on a sliding scale and typically are less than 0.5%. Contact us and we can give you a FREE QUOTE.

How is the total bond amount determined?

The court will determine the bond amount according to Section 8482 of the California Probate Code. However, the bond amount will not be more than the following:

  • The estimated value of the personal property.
  • The probable annual gross income of the estate.
  • The estimated value of the decedent's interest in the real property if independent administration is granted as to real property.

In addition, the court may determine the bond amount based on the minimum premium required by the surety.

How to get a California Conservatorship Bond

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. The first thing you have to do is to APPLY FOR THIS BOND HERE.
  2. Your application will immediately be processed once we’ve received it. The following will be checked during the prequalification process:
    • Your financial capability
    • Your business/job performance history
    • Your credit score
    • Any court document that references this bond
    • A written explanation as to why you’re appointed as the conservator and the type of appointment
    • A list of beneficiaries of the conservatee’s assets
  3. Once approved, your surety bond will be issued and sent to you after the indemnity agreement is signed.

 

Yes, I want to get a California Conservatorship Bond ASAP

 

Check out this Infographic!

"Guide to California Conservatorship Bonds"

California Conservatorship Bond Infographic
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