My husband got a life insurance policy wherein he made as beneficiary our only 3-year-old child without my knowledge. Unfortunately, he already passed away last year. I immediately went to the insurance officer to file a claim upon learning this life insurance plan. However, I could not get the amount for my son because they said that I have to secure first a guardianship bond. Where do I get this bond? Do I need to secure this considering that I am the biological parent?
The Family Code provides that “pursuant to the natural right and duty of parents over the person and property of their unemancipated children, parental authority and responsibility shall include the caring for and rearing them for civic consciousness and efficiency and the development of their moral, mental and physical character and well-being” (Article 209, Family Code). The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children (Article 211, Family Code). They shall also exercise joint legal guardianship over the property of their unemancipated common child without necessity of a court appointment (Article 225, Family Code).
By the death of your husband, your child, being the beneficiary of the former’s life insurance, has gained property in the form of proceeds from a life insurance policy. However, since he is a minor, your child needs your assistance or that of a guardian to claim the said proceeds. Although, as stated above, parents exercise legal guardianship over the properties of their minor children, you cannot claim the same in behalf of your child if the life insurance proceeds exceeds P50,000 without posting a guardianship bond in accordance with Article 225 of the Family Code which provides that “where the market value of the property or the annual income of the child exceeds P50,000, the parent concerned shall be required to furnish a bond in such amount as the court may determine, but not less than ten per centum (10%) of the value of property or annual income, to guarantee the performance of the obligations prescribed for general guardian.”
Before you can post a guardianship bond, you must first institute a verified petition for the approval of the bond in the proper court of the place where your child resides, or, if your child resides in a foreign country, in the proper court of the place where the property or any part thereof is situated (Article 225, Family Code). The posting of bond is conditioned as follows: (1) that you make and return to the court, within three months after the issuance of your letters of guardianship, a true and complete inventory of all the property, real or personal of your child, which shall come to your possession or knowledge or to the possession or knowledge of any person in his behalf; (2) to faithfully execute the duties of the trust, to manage and dispose of the property accordingly for the best interests of your child, and to provide for his proper care, custody and education; (3) to render a true and just account of all the properties of your child in your hands, and of all proceeds or interest derived therefrom xxx; (4) to perform all orders of court and such other duties as may be required by law (Section 13, A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC, RE: Proposed Rule on Guardianship of Minors).
Please be reminded that the above legal opinion is solely based on our appreciation of the problem that you have stated. The opinion may vary when other facts are stated or elaborated.
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