Bank of American agreed to pay $187.5M to settle charges in California claiming the bank mishandled bond payments and retained bondholder payments from 1978 to 1995 that should have been returned. California Trustee bond played a role in that decision in that they are surety bonds protecting the trust from any losses sustained by the trustee. Without trustee bonds, beneficiaries of a trust could suffer a financial loss when the trustee does not handle their duties appropriately.
A trustee is appointed as administrator of the trust document by either the trust itself or the court over the trust jurisdiction. A trustee can be an individual, but is typically a commercial bank. For “living trusts”, the creator of the trust is generally the original trustee until the time of her/his death. When the trust is for a charitable remainder, the trustee is required to be independent so it cannot be the creator of the trust. The trustee is responsible for compiling a list of bondholders, making payments of both interest and principal to bondholders, and to represent the best interest of the trust at all times.
California Trustee Bond guarantee that the trust is financially protected if the trustee fails to meet her/his responsibility. California courts will use the value of the trust when determining the surety bond amount. A member of the Jurisco surety bonding team can explain the trustee bond cost in greater detail.