Changing the registration on inherited sole-owner US Savings Bonds

Friday, February 3rd, 2006
Categorized as: Inheriting and bequeathing US Savings BondsSavings Bond registration changes

I am the beneficiary of my brother’s estate. He owned Series E Savings Bonds that were registered with him as sole owner and no beneficiary. Can these bonds be registered in my name, thus escaping any taxation until I redeem the bonds?

Tom’s response

If the bonds are still paying interest you can have the registration changed. The tax will be due when you cash them or when the bonds stop paying interest, whichever comes first.

All E bonds have already stopped paying interest except for those issued between 1976 and the final E bond issue in 1980.

These bonds pay interest for 30 years. For example, a series E bond issued in February 1976 stops paying interest this month, Febuary 2006.

The form to use for changing the registration to your name depends on whether your brother’s estate is being handled by a court and other factors that are too complex to go into here. My book has all the details you need to figure out what forms to use and how to get the lowest tax rate on this transfer.

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FDIC Insured Certificates of Deposit can pay 1 or 2% more than savings bonds when held for a similar length of time. See top CD Rates Below:

2 Comments

On September 15th, 2008 patricia glaster said:

my brother died and left savings bond with his dead wife’s name and himself as beneficiary. How do I cash these in or transfer them to my name?

On September 15th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

Patricia – Assuming his wife died first, the bonds are sole-owner bonds belonging to your brother.

Depending on the value of the bonds and his other assets, the bonds will probably have to go through a Probate Court to determine who they now belong to.

You probably need to speak with a lawyer to get this process started unless another family member is taking care of it.

Tom Adams

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June 1, 2010

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Virtually every question about Savings Bonds has been asked and answered on this site multiple times. Use the search feature (see the box in the gray area near the top of this page) or the detailed menu on the lower part of the home page to find the information you're looking for. If you have a copy of Savings Bond Advisor, you can ask me a question here.

Tom Adams

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