Veterans Affairs (VA) Custodian Bonds are specific types of custodial surety bonds that focus strictly on Veterans of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
When a legal custodian is appointed by the court in order to safeguard the assets of a Veteran deemed unable to handle their own financial affairs, a surety bond may be required. This bond is to ensure that the assets of the Veteran (the beneficiary) are being used properly for his/her well-being and for that of his/her dependents. This is to help safeguard against mismanagement of funds or financial abuse by the legal custodian. This is a type of court fiduciary bond, required by the court. It helps ensure that Veteran beneficiaries are able to properly manage their business dealings, including real estate, with the aid of their VA custodian.
Who Requires VA Custodian Surety Bonds?
A VA Custodian Bond is needed by any Veteran who is deemed an incompetent adult beneficiary by the VA (Dept. of Veterans Affairs), or whom the courts consider legally disabled because of their inability to conduct his or her own financial affairs.
The VA Custodian can be a person or a legal entity appointed by the state or federal court and is considered a federal fiduciary. Legal titles may differ from one jurisdiction to another and may include:
- Temporary Custodian
- Institutional award payee
- Spousal payee
- Indian reservation officer
As a VA Custodian, you are expected to learn about and to understand the needs of the Veteran (beneficiary) so that you may make financial decisions and transactions aimed at his or her best physical and financial welfare. It is expected that Veteran beneficiaries deserve a standard of living that’s at least equal to any other beneficiary with similar financial resources. Your job as a Veteran custodian is to see that this happens. Law also requires you put beneficiary funds in a safe and secure investment.
You’ll be responsible for submitting annual transaction and accounting reports and for notifying the courts and the VA of any necessary changes in the beneficiary’s circumstances.
As a Veteran’s custodian, your duties may include:
- Handling real estate transactions, including buying, selling and renovations
- Investments and funds sourcing
- Bills payments such as taxes, unpaid due debts, etc.
- Medical conditions and all healthcare needs
- Marriage and/or divorce
- Felony convictions/incarceration
- Changes that may prove the beneficiary no longer requires a legal custodian