Living estates – how to cash, reissue, or claim a savings bond in a living estate
When, following state law, a court appoints an individual or an organization to act as guardian on behalf of a living person, the court has established a living estate.
One typical reason for a living estate is that someone has been legally declared to be incompetent to take care of their own financial affairs.
We allow savings bonds to be registered to a living estate when the guardian is acting on behalf of an individual. We do not allow this registration when the guardian is acting on behalf of a federal, state, or local government.
If you are the legal guardian of a living estate, you may
- cash the estate's savings bonds
- have us reissue the bonds (However, an attorney-in-fact cannot request a reissue,)
- file a claim for a lost, stolen, or destroyed bond
- check if the person owns bonds you can't find.
In addition, individuals can self-appoint an attorney-in-fact to cash in bonds on their behalf. A durable power of attorney document is required.
This page tells you how to do each of those tasks.
Important notes for all these tasks
- When you send us a bond, leave it unsigned.
- We can't return what you send us. Therefore, send only copies of documents like your letters of appointment. Be sure that everything is legible on the copy, including the seal or stamp of the court.
- Be sure that all documents and forms you send us are complete, signed, and certified according to the instructions on the form. Incomplete or inaccurate submissions delay processing.
- Each form is available online.
- Each form has instructions on how to fill it out and where to send it.
Cash (redeem) savings bonds in a living estate
To cash a savings bond held in a living estate, send us
- FS Form 1522.
- Your power of attorney OR a certified copy of your letters of appointment
- The unsigned bond(s) you want to cash
Reissue savings bonds in a living estate
We handle reissuing bonds in a living estate on a case-by-case basis.
Therefore, contact us for this request:
File a claim for lost, stolen, or destroyed savings bonds in a living estate
If you have the following information about a bond, you may file a claim for it:
- The bond serial number
- All of the following:
- specific month and year the bond was bought (If you don’t know this, provide a date range of month and year.)
- first and last name of the bond owner (and middle name or initial if it is (was) on the bond)
- street address, city, and state where the bond owner lives (lived)
- Social Security Number that is (was) on the bond
To file a claim, send us FS Form 1048 and either your power of attorney or a certified copy of your letters of appointment.
On FS Form 1048, you have the option of getting cash for the bond or getting a replacement bond. Replacement HH bonds are on paper. Replacement EE or I bonds are electronic.
Check for other savings bonds in a living estate
If you think the living estate might include older bonds that have stopped earning interest but that you can't find, you can use our Treasury Hunt database to search for them. We update the database every month.
To search, you need the bond owner's Social Security Number (SSN). For a living estate, that would be the SSN of the person for whom you are the legal guardian.
If the search turns up bonds for you, you'll get information on how to claim and cash them.