Important Things You Need to Know About a Trustee Bond

Trustee bond to protect a persons financials

If you intend to serve as a trustee, you may need to obtain a trustee bond first. Here are some important things you need to know upfront:

What is a Trust?

A trust is a financial vehicle that allows whoever sets up the trust to determine when, where, why, and how funds get dispersed. Some people set up trusts while they are still alive to benefit their children, family members, or causes they care about. Others set up trusts as part of their will so that funds get dispersed as they wish even after their death. The person who sets up the trust has broad freedoms to control the associated funds however they see fit. That’s where trustees come in.

What is a Trustee?

A trustee administers the trust. That involves distributing funds according to the terms of the trust while also applying fiduciary responsibility to the funds still in the trust. Essentially, the trustee manages the money however the trust prescribes. In that role, they have a lot of responsibilities, particularly to the beneficiaries of the trust. They also have a lot of power as the sole person with control over the entire trust. That’s where trustee bonds come in.

What Is a Trustee Bond?

A trustee bond protects the beneficiaries of a trust in the event of misconduct on the part of the trustee. For example, if the trustee stole money from the trust, distributed funds in violation of the terms of the trust, or made investments they can’t defend, the beneficiaries may file a claim against the bond seeking damages. As part of the bond agreement, the surety company backing the bond agrees to settle all valid claims – giving beneficiaries a way to recoup lost funds. Surety bond agreements like this one also make the principal (the trustee who holds the bond) responsible for paying all claims. The surety steps in to pay as necessary, but the principal must always pay that debt back with interest and fees included.

Who Needs a Trustee Bond?

Courts may require a trustee to obtain a surety bond, and in some cases the terms of the trust outline the bond requirement. When necessary, the requirement defines the terms and the amount of the surety bond. Someone cannot serve as a trustee without the required surety bond, so it’s important to seek one out as soon as you’re aware of the requirement.

Why Do You Need a Trustee Bond?

Surety bonds help the beneficiaries of a trust feel confident in the character and abilities of the trustee. With so much at stake, it’s not enough to take someone’s word that they will perform their trustee duties exactly as the law requires and the trust intends. Yet without a surety bond in place, it would be difficult if not impossible to hold a trustee accountable and pursue damages resulting from the trustee’s misbehavior. You need a trustee bond because it makes courts and beneficiaries more willing to trust you with large amounts of money, which then improves the impression of trustees as a whole.

What Are the Requirements for a Trustee Bond?

Every trustee bond is different. The obligee (The party that creates the bond requirement and has the right to file claims for damages) defines the details. Specifically, the obligee sets an amount for the surety bond and outlines behaviors that give the obligee the right to pursue a claim. It’s important to understand the exact specifics of a surety bond agreement before committing to it. If you need help making sense of the details, rely on the expert team at Viking Bond Service for help.

What is the Cost of a Trustee Bond?

That depends on the amount of the trustee bond, which indicates how much the surety commits to paying out to settle claims. The premium costs a small percentage of the surety bond total. How much exactly depends on the applicant’s credit score, financial history, and professional standing. People with bad credit may have to pay slightly more to secure the surety bond they need, but with the help of a nationwide surety brokerage like Viking Bond Service, they don’t have to be denied.

How to Obtain a Trustee Bond

You will need to fill in a standard surety bond application with information about your financial history and personal background. You will also need to submit a copy of the trust documents, and the surety may also request a financial statement. Underwriters will use these documents to quote you a premium. The surety bond becomes active once you pay, but it will need to be renewed regularly if you intend to serve as a trustee for an extended amount of time.

Viking Bond Service – Get Your Trustee Bond Fast

Surety bonds don’t have to be expensive, confusing, or frustrating. At Viking Bond Service, we strive to make this a seamless process that’s accessible to all. If you need a bond quickly, get a quote in under 48 hours by filling out this easy online application. Our team is also happy to answer your questions and address your concerns. Make contact through the form on this page or by calling 1-888-278-7389.

Author: Lynn Macci

In my role as Sr. Commercial/Court Specialist, I have been in the industry for 30 years in multiple Surety capacities. I have worked with many Sureties and have experience in a vast variety of Commercial and Court/Probate cases. I've entertained these types of bonds nationwide. I have a significant background and involvement in business development and Surety knowledge.