The Colorado Judicial Branch (Judicial Branch) is responsible for overseeing the court system including the 22 judicial districts. The judicial districts handle probate cases along with civil and criminal matters, family law matters and water cases, including the appointing of public administrators and deputy public administrators, otherwise known as public officials.
The public official serves as a fiduciary or personal representative for others due to impairment, death or for those who cannot manage their own affairs. This includes administering estates, as a conservator or trustee. The public official role was created to fulfill the role if no one else was available to serve in this capacity.
The obligee is the entity that requires the bond. The Colorado Judicial Branch requires a $25,000 surety bond (a $100,000 surety bond is required as of August 8, 2018) to be on file with the Colorado Secretary of State. A surety bond ensures the fiduciary duties by the public administrator or deputy public administrator will be handled in a competent, honest, ethical manner. Failure to perform as required by state laws may result in a claim to recover the assets filed against the bond by the Judicial Branch. If the Judicial Branch files a claim against the surety bond, the public administrator (named as the principal on the bond form) will be responsible for repayment of the claimed amount if the claim is paid out by the surety.
The surety bond must be in place upon appointment by the district court and on file during the duration of the appointment and subsequent renewals. The premium will renew on the bond every year. Failure to maintain or replace the bond could result in termination of appointment.
The original surety bond and power of attorney (provided by the issuing surety) will need to be filed with the Secretary of State. A $25,000 surety bond is required. Beginning August 8, 2018, the surety bond amount will increase to $100,000.
In order to obtain a surety bond, the public official applicant will need to submit a surety bond application for public official and provide a personal financial statement. A credit check will be conducted for underwriting purposes.
The premium that you pay for a Colorado Public Administrator or Deputy Public Administrator Surety Bond is dependent on credit and personal financial statements. Premium rates start as low as 1%.
A judge has the option to require a public official to obtain an additional surety bond for large estates.
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