02 Nov My kids got bonds from grandma, who died. What to do?
Q. My children received bonds from their grandmother over the years. She recently died. How can I get the information on them?
A. We’re very sorry to hear about your children’s grandmother.
You didn’t say, but we’re going to assume you’re talking about paper government Treasury Series EE savings bonds.
These have been common gifts over the years, especially when interest rates were even higher than they are today, said Daniel Cocco, a partner with Beacon Wealth Partners in Nutley.
Cocco said the bonds may include your children’s name on them. This would entitle them to cash them once they are matured, but he recommends you speak to a certified public accountant (CPA) because it would be a taxable event, he said.
He said generally, if the bonds are registered online in electronic form, it’s an easier process to manage but you will need access to the owner’s online account with Treasury Direct.
You should go to that website directly to obtain access if the owner has passed, he said.
Also know you can convert paper bonds to paperless electronic bonds, he said.
“Since 2011, sales for over-the-counter (OTC) paper savings bonds ceased, marking the end of paper savings bonds, with one exception,” he said. “Paper bonds are still available to taxpayers who choose to use some of their tax refund to purchase their bonds, according to the Treasury website.”
If the bonds could not be located and are deemed lost needing a replacement and you have some information about the bonds and the owner, you may be able to complete “FS Form 1048” found on the Treasury Direct website to request replacements or direct payment, he said.
Gather as much information as you can before sitting down to complete this form.
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This story was originally published on Nov. 2, 2023.
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