A professional guardianship surety bond in Florida is a type of fiduciary bond used to help protect the interest of the ward, or the person the guardian protects, in the event the guardian misuses funds or abuses the ward. Without this bond, a ward may suffer a financial loss. A professional guardian must be an adult who legally resides in Florida. They will be required to pass the Florida Competency Guardianship Exam after completing a 40-hour instruction and training course. This is then followed by 16 hours of continued education every two years.
According to Florida Statute 744.102 (17), "Professional Guardian" means any guardian who has at any time rendered services to three or more wards as their guardian. A person serving as a guardian for two or more relatives as defined in Florida Statute 744.309(2) is not considered a professional guardian. However, a public guardian shall be considered a professional guardian for purposes of regulation, education, and registration.
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The amount a Florida Professional Guardian Bond will cost largely depends on the guardian's credit, experience, and years in business. With a good credit score, the percentage starts at 1% of the bond amount.
In order to become a professional Guardian, the court requires a $50,000 surety bond, which is used to help protect the ward, or third party, from theft, losses, or misrepresentation.
The Clerk of Court who appoints anyone as a professional guardian and the Office of Public and Professional Guardians all require the bond.
Florida Professional Guardian Surety Bonds remain in full force and effect from the effective date until they are canceled. Therefore, they will renew every year, and the bonding company will bill for the bond on an annual basis. The surety may cancel the bond with thirty (30) calendar days written notice to the Obligee, being The Office of Public and Professional Guardians.