Fiduciary Bond

Bond Penalty: Fixed by Court

A fiduciary bond generally refers to a surety bond required for a probate court or guardianship matter. A "fiduciary" is a person who holds a legal and/or ethical relationship of trust with a person or an organization. A fiduciary is responsible for managing and safeguarding money or other assets for another. There are many scenarios which might require an individual to provide a fiduciary bond. Let's look at a few examples:

  • Financial advisers, financial planners, asset managers and more specifically managers of pension plans, endowments, and tax-exempt assets, are considered fiduciaries. These parties may require a either a fiduciary bond or an ERISA fidelity bond.
  • A trustee of the assets of a bankrupt party may be required to file a bankruptcy trustee bond, a class of surety bond.
  • An individual appointed to handle the assets of an incapacitated or deceased party may be order to post a fiduciary bond. For example, the Department of Veteran's Affairs requires a bond of a legal custodian.
  • An auctioneer in a federal receivership may need a receiver's bond or bankruptcy auctioneer bond.

Again, "fiduciary bond" is most often synonymous with a probate or guardianship undertaking. In the cases a fiduciary's actions must be in accordance with the pevailing probate code, orders issued by the probate court holding jurisdiction over the estate or ward, and in accordance with the terms of a will, if one exists. The surety bond can be referred to by different names. All are essentially the same obligation.

A probate bond (the first three bonds above) guarantee the performance of specific fiduciary duties. The party must identify all heirs and creditors, inventory the deceased's assets and appraise them, pay all debts and taxes owed by the deceased, distribute the remaining assets to known heirs then file a file accounting with the court for approval and case disposition. While performing these duties the probate fiduciary has the utmost duty to make ensure that estate assets will not lose value or be misappropriated. In legal terms, the surety bond of the fiduciary protects the estate from the misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance of the same.

A fiduciary bond for living parties (the last two bonds above) are generally required to protect a ward's or conservatee's assets from mismanagement or fraudulent conversion by the guardian or conservator. The same sort of duties apply to these fiduciaries as those that act on behalf of deceased parties, i.e., collecting and safeguarding assets for eventual disbursment.

Underwriting of fiduciary bonds requires review by a surety specialist with knowledge about the laws the regulated the activity in the jurisdiction where the bond will be filed. Surety bond leader, Surety One, Inc., specializes in this class of surety bond. We offer these in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, Canada and U.S. Virgin Islands. Application submissions are reviewed and quoted on the same day as they are received. We are the MOST RESPONSIVE surety bond underwriter in the business. Call (800) 373-2804, email us at Underwriting@SuretyOne.com or chat with us live here about your fiduciary bond need.

Surety bond application review and quoting are free of charge. There is no obligation to purchase.