Savings Bonds have gone online and like many things nowadays, nothing is easy...
Don't miss the last line on this page... lots of unclaimed bonds out there!
I wrote about Finding Missing Money years ago.
This time it's about searching for Unclaimed Savings Bonds!
Recently, my parents (in their mid-80s) attempted to reissue the U.S. Savings Bonds that they've had for years.
My mother worked for 25 years at a bank, and she retired as the Assistant Manager. She did government savings bond paperwork all the time.
When my parents visited their local bank, she was shocked to learn they no longer issue savings bonds. U.S. Savings Bonds redemptions can be handled by the bank, if they choose to do bonds. Other than cashing the bond out, they do not work with savings bond paperwork at all.
She assumed it was simple to them reissued to other names. They do not need the money nor the taxes associated with cashing bonds... and they had hoped to pass them along to family members.
We printed out Reissue Bond forms, from the U.S. Savings Bond website, had them signed by an authorized bonds dealer (not a notary), and mailed them in... only to receive a call that you can now only do them online. The paper bonds were returned via mail. We think, at this point, that you can do that (in some manner) online but not at the bank. We are not sure.. yet.
Personally, I have a stack of Savings Bonds and will deal with mine after we get moms dealt with. This is like work! Grin!
It's easy to register your savings bonds online. I am beginning to register our bonds, listing them one by one. When you do, the paper bonds are no longer good... makes sense although my folks don't like that idea. If they have nothing in their hand, they feel like they could lose the cash. If you want to learn more about converting paper bonds to electronic form, just visit their site.
What I did like about registering the bonds online: when they mature, they are automatically deposited in your bank account within two business days. Convenient, right?
How do you know if your U.S. Saving Bonds have value? What are they worth today?
I have several matured bonds... NOT a good thing. For some bond dummies who are too busy living life, and don't pay attention, the electronic version is a great option.
You will pay Federal taxes on the interest upon cashing the bond. You should pay interest in the year that the bond matures as that's what the Feds expect. If you don’t cash it that year, you won’t get a tax form to help you declare this. When you declare it later, like me, the IRS can penalize you for not declaring it in the right year. Yikes!
Ready to learn about all the Unclaimed Savings Bonds out there?