What is a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is an individual given power over someone else’s interests and assets. Veterans or beneficiaries who are unable to manage their financial affairs due to disease, injury, age or other factors need a fiduciary. Because they are tasked to make decisions in the best interest of the veteran, appointed individuals are usually family members or close friends. When no qualified family member or friend can serve, a fiduciary will be assigned to the individual.
To ensure suitability, Veterans Affairs will perform an investigation before assigning an individual and will conclude some fiduciaries must get a surety bond before acting on behalf of the veteran.
Who needs a VA fiduciary bond?
Fiduciaries are required to get a surety bond if they manage more than $20,000 of VA funds for the beneficiary.
Those who are not required to have a surety bond when acting as a fiduciary include spouses, court-appointed fiduciaries, trust companies or banks, or fiduciaries residing in the Commonwelath of Puerto Rico, Guam, or other United States territories.
How much does a VA fiduciary bond cost?
The cost of a surety bond for a VA fiduciary is dependent on the value of the estate the fiduciary will be managing. This is important because the cost of the surety bond is based on a percentage of the bond amount. This percentage is determined by an underwriter who reviews court documents associated with the request and the applicant’s financial credentials, such as a credit report and a personal financial statement. Although the exact cost varies between applicants, most VA fiduciary bonds cost between .5% and 2% of the total bond amount depending on the underwriter’s review of the application.
SuretyBonds.com is licensed to sell VA fiduciary bonds in every state. Call 1 (800) 308-4358 to speak with a surety expert who will walk you through the bonding process or request a free VA fiduciary surety bond quote online.. Once you’re approved and you’ve paid your premium, we will issue and mail your bond. You must then submit the original surety bond form to the appropriate VA office.
Can I get a VA bond with bad credit?
Bad credit is typically not a roadblock to getting approved for a VA bond. Because we work with multiple surety providers, we are able to get 99% of applicants approved for the court bond they need.
What are the responsibilities of a fiduciary?
Veterans affairs fiduciaries are responsible for veterans’ interests and assets and are responsible for duties such as using funds for daily needs, refraining from borrowing, loaning, or gifting funds, reporting changes regarding fiduciary information, and keeping complete records and receipts.
VA fiduciary bonds protect veterans from unlawful or unethical behavior by the fiduciary. These bonds ensure veterans or their dependents receive VA benefits to which they’re entitled. More detailed information is available on the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website.
How do I become a VA appointed fiduciary for a veteran?
To act as a fiduciary for a veteran, submit a request to the closest VA regional office. Along with your request, be sure to include the beneficiary’s name, VA file number, your name, and your contact information.