Death of a Savings Bond Owner
This page focuses on paper savings bonds.
Electronic bonds: If the person who died has an online TreasuryDirect account, contact the Bureau of Public Debt directly. We will put a hold on the account and give specific instructions for the situation.
On this page for paper savings bonds that the deceased owned:
- Determine who owns the bond
- If a survivor is named on the bond
- If no survivor is named and no court is involved
- If a court or state law is involved
- Who pays taxes and when?
|In this situation||This person owns the bond|
|Only one person is named on the bond and that person dies||The bond is part of that person’s estate|
|Two people are named on the bond and both have died||The bond is part of the estate of the person who died last.|
|Two people are named on the bond and one dies||The surviving person becomes the owner as if the survivor had been the only owner from the time the bond was issued. For the tax implications of this situation, see Who pays taxes and when? further down this page.|
As the survivor, you have three options:
- Do nothing.
- Redeem (cash in) the bond.
- Reissue: Have the bond reissued in the survivor’s name alone or with another living person. This can only be done if the bond is still earning interest and will not soon stop earning interest
Redeeming (cashing in) paper bonds with a named survivor
Go to a financial institution that pays savings bonds and show adequate identification and any supporting documents that may be required. Before going, it might be helpful to call the financial institution to find out what adequate identification and supporting documents will be needed for your situation.
Reissuing paper bonds with a survivor named on them
Note: We cannot reissue a bond that is less than one full calendar month before its final maturity date. If the paper savings bond is getting close to its final maturity date, be sure to mail it so it arrives at least two months before final maturity.
- Fill out form PD F 4000, either on paper or online. (The online version is a PDF, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don't have that, you can download free Acrobat Reader. After you fill out the online form, you must print it.)
- Take the filled-out form to a financial institution where you sign it in front of a person who can certify or guarantee your signature.
- Mail the filled-out, signed form, the bonds, and a certified copy of the death certificate to the Treasury Retail Securities Site.
The instructions in this section are for the situation in which no person named on the bond is living and all of the following are true. The estate of the person who died (or who died last if two people are named on the bond)
- has not been and will not be formally administered through a court
- has not been and will not be settled under special provisions of state law relating to small estates
- contains bonds totaling $100,000 or less in redemption value as of the date of death
For paper bonds, when no survivor is named and no court is involved, the person or people who are entitled to request disposition of paper bonds must follow these steps:
- Fill out Form PD F 5336, either on paper or online. (The online version is a PDF, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don't have that, you can download free Acrobat Reader. After you fill out the online form, you must print it.)
- Sign the form in the presence of a certifying official (as explained on the form).
- Pack up
- the bonds
- a completed PD F 5336, and
- proof of death of all people named on the bonds who have died
- Mail the package to
Bureau of the Public Debt
PO Box 7012
Parkersburg, WV 26106-7012
Note: If an estate contains Treasury securities (including savings bonds) that total more than $100,000 in redemption value as of the date of death, the estate must be administered by a court.
If a court is involved, you might have one of these situations:
- the estate is being settled under special provisions of state law a court-appointed representative is in charge of distributing the estate
- a court-appointed representative was in charge but has been discharged before the bonds are distributed
For more details on handling bonds in these situations: When a Court or Special Provisions of State Law are Involved in the settlement of an Estate
To understand the tax implications of various situations related to the death of a savings bond owner, consult your tax advisor and / or one or more of these Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publications:
|Investment Income and Expenses||IRS Publication 550|
|Your Federal Income Tax||IRS Publication 17|
|Survivors, Executors, and Administrators||IRS Publication 559|
|Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes||IRS Publication 950|