Washington Conservatorship Bond/Guardian of the Estate Bond
What is a Washington Conservatorship Bond/Guardian of the Estate Bond?
It is written financial security in the event of the conservator or guardian of the estate’s default. This type of surety bond will also help ensure that the guardian of the estate will comply with all orders of the court.
There are three parties to this type of surety bond, namely:
Principal – Court-appointed guardian of the estate
Obligee – Court (on behalf of the incapacitated person)
Surety – Surety bond provider
Who is required to get a Washington Conservatorship Bond/Guardian of the Estate Bond?
Those who have been appointed as guardians of the estate and/or limited guardians in the State of Washington. In the State of Washington, a conservator is called a guardian of the estate.
A guardian of the estate is given by the court the authority to make financial decisions for the incapacitated person.
The superior court of each county can appoint limited guardians for the persons and estates as well. Incapacitated persons who require limited guardians are those who by reason of their incapacity has a need for protection and assistance, but who are capable of managing some of their personal and financial affairs.
For limited guardianship, the person will not be presumed to be incapacitated nor will the person lose any legal rights or suffer any legal disabilities. The only exception to this is the rights and disabilities specifically stated in the court order establishing such a limited guardianship.
In the said State, a person’s incapacity is a legal decision, and not a medical one. The decision will be based on demonstration of management insufficiencies over time in the area of person or estate.
The superior court will determine if the individual is at significant risk of financial harm based upon a demonstrated inability to adequately manage property or financial affairs.
How does a Washington Conservatorship Bond/Guardian of the Estate Bond work?
The Principal is the person who will apply and pay for the bond. He or she will also be primarily responsible for fulfilling the duties assigned by the court. The Obligee, on the other hand, is the beneficiary of the bond and is the party who is requiring the bond.
The Surety will be the financial guarantor of the Principal. Through a Conservatorship Bond, the Surety is making a legal promise that the Principal will fulfill his or her legal obligations. If the Principal fails to do so, the Obligee will be eligible to make a claim against the bond.
Once a claim is made, the Surety must investigate if the bonded Principal has indeed breached his or her legal obligations. If the claim is valid, the Surety must pay the Obligee up to the penal amount of the bond. Under the indemnity agreement, the Principal must reimburse the Surety of all expenses.
How much does a Washington Conservatorship Bond/Guardian of the Estate Bond cost?
The bond cost will a small percentage of the Principal’s bond amount. This will be your bond premium or the amount that must be paid to the Surety.
For Principals who have excellent credit scores, the bond premium can be as little as ½ % of the bond amount. Bonds larger than $250,000 will be priced on a sliding scale.
The court will be the one to decide on the Principal’s bond amount. As stated in Section 11.88.100 of the RCW, the bond amount will take into account the following:
- The character of the assets on hand or anticipated
- The income to be received and disbursements to be made
The court may reduce the bond amount in the following circumstances:
- All or a portion of the estate consisting of cash or securities has been placed in possession of savings and loan associations or banks, trust companies, escrow corporations, or other corporations approved by the court
- A verified receipt signed by the custodian of the funds is filed by the guardian or limited guardian in court stating that such corporations hold the cash or securities subject to order of the court.
How to get a Washington Conservatorship Bond/Guardian of the Estate Bond
The first step is to apply for this bond HERE.
We will immediately process your application as soon as we have received it. An underwriter will then evaluate the following:
- Copy of the official court order
- Your financial strength
- Your job/business performance history
- Your credit score
Once the pre-qualification process is fulfilled, we will execute the bond and send it to you.
Who is exempted to file a Washington Conservatorship Bond/Guardian of the Estate Bond?
The court may exempt the guardian of the estate from filing a bond if he or she petitions that the incapacitated person has a total asset value of less than $3,000.
The guardian of the estate must do the following as well:
- File an inventory to the court confirming that the estate has total assets of less than $3,000
- Swear to report to the court any changes in the total assets of the incapacitated person increasing their value to over $3,000
- File a yearly statement showing the monthly income of the incapacitated person if said monthly income, excluding money from the state or federal benefits, is over the $500/month for any 3 consecutive months.
The court may also exempt the filing of a surety bond in the following circumstances:
- A bank or trust company is authorized to act as guardian or limited guardian
- A nonprofit corporation is authorized under its articles of incorporation to act as guardian or limited guardian, is appointed as guardian or limited guardian, or acts as guardian or limited guardian under an appointment