2010 California Code
Article 3. Bonds Of Guardians And Conservators
2320. (a) Except as otherwise provided by statute, every person appointed as guardian or conservator shall, before letters are issued, give a bond approved by the court. (b) The bond shall be for the benefit of the ward or conservatee and all persons interested in the guardianship or conservatorship estate and shall be conditioned upon the faithful execution of the duties of the office, according to law, by the guardian or conservator. (c) Except as otherwise provided by statute, unless the court increases or decreases the amount upon a showing of good cause, the amount of a bond given by an admitted surety insurer shall be the sum of all of the following: (1) The value of the personal property of the estate. (2) The probable annual gross income of all of the property of the estate. (3) The sum of the probable annual gross payments from the following: (A) Part 3 (commencing with Section 11000) of, Part 4 (commencing with Section 16000) of, or Part 5 (commencing with Section 17000) of, Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. (B) Subchapter II (commencing with Section 401) of, or Part A of Subchapter XVI (commencing with Section 1382) of, Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code. (C) Any other public entitlements of the ward or conservatee. (4) On or after January 1, 2008, a reasonable amount for the cost of recovery to collect on the bond, including attorney's fees and costs. The attorney's fees and costs incurred in a successful action for surcharge against a conservator or guardian for breach of his or her duty under this code shall be a surcharge against the conservator or guardian and, if unpaid, shall be recovered against the surety on the bond. The Judicial Council shall, on or before January 1, 2008, adopt a rule of court to implement this paragraph. (d) If the bond is given by personal sureties, the amount of the bond shall be twice the amount required for a bond given by an admitted surety insurer. (e) The Bond and Undertaking Law (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 995.010) of Title 14 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure) applies to a bond given under this article, except to the extent inconsistent with this article. 2320.1. When the conservator or guardian has knowledge of facts from which the guardian or conservator knows or should know that the bond posted is less than the amount required under Section 2320, the conservator or guardian, and the attorney, if any, shall make an ex parte application for an order increasing the bond to the amount required under Section 2320. 2320.2. If additional bond is required by the court when the account is heard, the order approving the account and related matters, including fees, is not effective and the court shall not file the order until the additional bond is filed. 2321. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court in a conservatorship proceeding may not waive the filing of a bond or reduce the amount of bond required, without a good cause determination by the court which shall include a determination by the court that the conservatee will not suffer harm as a result of the waiver or reduction of the bond. Good cause may not be established merely by the conservator having filed a bond in another or prior proceeding. (b) In a conservatorship proceeding, where the conservatee, having sufficient capacity to do so, has waived the filing of a bond, the court in its discretion may permit the filing of a bond in an amount less than would otherwise be required under Section 2320. 2322. One appointed only as guardian of the person or conservator of the person need not file a bond unless required by the court. 2323. (a) The court may dispense with the requirement of a bond if it appears likely that the estate will satisfy the conditions of subdivision (a) of Section 2628 for its duration. (b) If at any time it appears that the estate does not satisfy the conditions of subdivision (a) of Section 2628, the court shall require the filing of a bond unless the court determines that good cause exists, as provided in Section 2321. 2324. If the person making the nomination has waived the filing of the bond, a guardian nominated under Section 1500 or 1501 need not file a bond unless required by the court. 2325. The surety on the bond of a nonprofit charitable corporation described in Section 2104 shall be an admitted surety insurer. 2326. (a) If joint guardians or conservators are appointed, the court may order that separate bonds or a joint bond or a combination thereof be furnished. (b) If a joint bond is furnished, the liability on the bond is joint and several. 2327. (a) In a conservatorship proceeding, the court shall order a separate bond for each conservatee, except where the assets of the conservatees are commingled in which case a combined bond that covers all assets may be provided. (b) If a guardianship proceeding involves more than one ward, the court may order separate bonds, or a single bond which is for the benefit of two or more wards in that proceeding, or a combination thereof. 2328. (a) In any proceeding to determine the amount of the bond of the guardian or conservator (whether at the time of appointment or subsequently), if the estate includes property which has been or will be deposited with a trust company or financial institution pursuant to Sections 2453 to 2456, inclusive, upon the condition that the property, including any earnings thereon, will not be withdrawn except on authorization of the court, the court, in its discretion, with or without notice, may so order and may do either of the following: (1) Exclude the property deposited in determining the amount of the required bond or reduce the amount of the bond to be required in respect to the property deposited to such an amount as the court determines is reasonable. (2) If a bond has already been furnished or the amount fixed, reduce the amount to such an amount as the court determines is reasonable. (b) The petitioner for letters, or the proposed guardian or conservator in advance of appointment of a guardian or conservator, may do any one or more of the following: (1) Deliver personal property in the person's possession to a trust company. (2) Deliver money in the person's possession for deposit in an insured account in a financial institution in this state. (3) Allow a trust company to retain personal property already in its possession. (4) Allow a financial institution in this state to retain money already invested in an insured account in a financial institution. (c) In the cases described in subdivision (b), the petitioner or proposed guardian or conservator shall obtain and file with the court a written receipt including the agreement of the trust company or financial institution that the property deposited, including any earnings thereon, shall not be allowed to be withdrawn except upon authorization of the court. (d) In receiving and retaining property on deposit pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c), the trust company or financial institution is protected to the same extent as though it received the property on deposit from a person to whom letters had been issued. 2329. (a) If a guardian or conservator moves the court for reduction in the amount of the bond, the motion shall include an affidavit setting forth the condition of the estate. (b) Except upon a showing of good cause, the amount of the bond shall not be reduced below the amount determined pursuant to Section 2320. (c) Nothing in this section limits the authority of the court to reduce the amount of the bond with or without notice under Section 2328. 2330. Upon the confirmation of the sale of any real property of the estate, or upon the authorization of the borrowing of money secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on real property of the estate, the guardian or conservator shall furnish an additional bond as is required by the court in order to make the sum of the bonds furnished by the guardian or conservator equal to the amount determined pursuant to Section 2320, taking into account the proceeds of the sale or mortgage or deed of trust, unless the court makes an express finding stating the reason why the bond should not be increased. If a bond or additional bond is required under this section, the order confirming the sale of real property of the estate or authorizing the borrowing of money secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on real property of the estate is not effective and the court shall not file the order until the additional bond is filed. 2333. (a) In case of a breach of a condition of the bond, an action may be brought against the sureties on the bond for the use and benefit of the ward or conservatee or of any person interested in the estate. (b) No action may be maintained against the sureties on the bond unless commenced within four years from the discharge or removal of the guardian or conservator or within four years from the date the order surcharging the guardian or conservator becomes final, whichever is later. (c) In any case, and notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 2103, no action may be maintained against the sureties on the bond unless the action commences within six years from the date the judgment under Section 2103 or the later of the orders under subdivision (b) of this section becomes final. 2334. Where a petition is filed requesting an order that a guardian or conservator be required to give a bond where no bond was originally required, or an objection is made to the sufficiency of the bond, and the petition or affidavit supporting the objection alleges facts showing that the guardian or conservator is failing to use ordinary care and diligence in the management of the estate, the court, by order, may suspend the powers of the guardian or conservator until the matter can be heard and determined. 2335. A guardian or conservator who applies for a substitution and release of a surety shall file an account with the application. The court shall not order a substitution unless the account is approved.
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