VA Fiduciary Surety Bonds Explained
VA fiduciary surety bonds is an umbrella term for a number of surety bonds. These bonds are sometimes required from someone who is appointed to manage Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits on behalf of a veteran who is unable to do so.
If the funds managed exceed $20,000, the Department of Veteran Affairs might require the fiduciary to post a surety bond to ensure proper handling of these funds. If the fiduciary uses fraud or misuses the beneficiary’s funds in any way, a claim can be filed against their bond to provide quick compensation for the losses incurred.
You can explore the Q&A section below for more detailed information on costs and the application process. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at (877)-514-5146.
Questions about Va Fiduciary Surety Bond
Who is required to post a VA fiduciary bond?
Managing funds above $20,000 may require that you post this type of bond. However, there are a few exemptions:
- Spouses of veterans
- Court appointed fiduciaries
- Trust companies and banks with trust powers
- Fiduciaries from locations which preclude bonding
How much does a VA fiduciary surety bond cost?
The Department of Veteran Affairs will determine the total amount of your bond, i.e. your maximum liability under its term. Typically, it’s estimated as the total sum of the funds managed plus the anticipated net income (from VA benefits) for the ensuing accounting period.
You will only have to pay a percentage of that total bond amount, known as a premium. Your premium will depend on a number of factors such as your credit score, credit report, financial statements as well as the court documents regarding your application as a fiduciary. Rates may vary, but annual premium typical ranges between 2-5% of the bond amount. While most bond companies require strong personal credit in order to approve an applicant, there are some markets currently willing to offer terms of approval to applicants with bad credit. You can learn more on our surety bond cost page.
The good news is that you can deduct your bond premium from the assets of the beneficiary. You are expected to make premium payments periodically for as long as you continue to exercise your fiduciary rights. The Department of Veteran Affairs will regularly check your bonding status with your surety bonds company, so you must stay compliant.
How do I apply for a fiduciary bond?
The application process is simple, and we’ll help you throughout every step. All you have to do is complete our VA Fiduciary Bond Application and submit the following documentation:
- Personal Financial Statement
- Credit Release Form
- Letter from the Department of Veteran Affairs
You can find all the necessary forms along with more instructions on our VA fiduciary bonds application page.
How can I avoid claims against my bond?
The jobs of a VA fiduciary comes with a number of responsibilities. You must be thoroughly acquainted with them in order to avoid unwanted costly claims.
The Guide for VA Fiduciaries contains relevant and detailed information on what you are allowed to do with the beneficiary’s funds, and what other responsibilities you have. You must be in frequent contact with the beneficiary and ensure that you operate their funds in accordance with their wishes and needs.
Funds must be direct-deposited into a bank account of a federally insured bank or credit union, and can be invested only in U.S. Savings Bonds or dividend-paying accounts which are insured under Federal law.
You also have certain responsibilities to the VA, which are outlined on their website.
How do I become a VA fiduciary?
Usually, the Department of Veteran Affairs will look for any close relatives willing to serve as fiduciaries. However, in certain cases, when such a person cannot be found, they will look for a professional fiduciaries.
Professional fiduciaries must send a cover letter and a resume to: [email protected], including their name and mailing address. The selection process is rigorous and includes a background check, a review of your credit report as well as interview with a VA representative and an interview with character witnesses.