How to act for an incapacitated Savings Bond owner

Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
Categorized as: Cashing in US Savings BondsSavings Bond registration changes

I recently received Power of Attorney for my cousin who has had several strokes. He has Savings Bonds dating from 1967 to 1998. I have taken 81 $25 bonds that are matured and separated them for redemption. My cousin can not sign them. My bank says to send them to a Federal Reserve Bank, but they do not advise how to get them signed. Can you advise?

Tom’s response

The Treasury actually has forms for the situation you’re in. The form you need is Application by Voluntary Guardian of Incapacitated Owner of United States Bonds/Notes.

The last page of the form has detailed instructions, including where to mail the form. You will have to have your signature certified at a bank or notarized by a Notary Public.

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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:


On March 5th, 2010 Zoe Golaske said:

This form states that the owner of the bonds is mentally incapacitated. What if the owner is still mentally sound, but physically incapacitated due to stroke?

On March 11th, 2010 Nik said:

The link for the form: Request for Payment of Series I Savings Bonds by the Representative of the Estate of an Incompetent or Minor is not a valid link.

On March 11th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Zoe – I’ve been trying to get an official answer to your question, but I’ve gotten no response so far. Meanwhile, would a power of attorney work? The owner would still need to sign in front of a notary public, but if the owner is hospitalized that’s often a service the hospital can provide. The form delegates someone like you to act for the owner in Savings Bond transactions. You would then sign for the owner at the bank by presenting the form and your ID.

Nik – It appears that form, which was redundant, has been discontinued. I’ve removed the reference to it in the text above. Thanks for the note.

Tom Adams

On March 26th, 2010 Joseph H DeSantis III said:

I have a $25.00 series E bond that belonged to my father who passed away in Jan. 1982. I was buried in some paperwork and just recently found. I have a copy of his death certificate, but not the original. What do I need to do to be able to redeem this bond? The date on the bond is June, 1953. Thank you.

On March 29th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Joseph – use this form to cash the bond. Instructions are on the form.

Tom Adams

On April 17th, 2010 Jack Garamella said:

I have a durable power of atty from my mentally and physically incapacitated mother who has about 400 Bonds from the 70’s that are presently worth @ $400,000. Since these Bonds (just discovered) are not accruing interest, I would like to cash them now. None of the Treasury Forms seem applicable because my mother cannot sign and Form PD F 2513 E limits the redemption to $20,000 for ALL of the owner’s Bonds. How do I cash the Bonds?

On April 19th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Jack – if you have Power of Attorney, you don’t need the 2513 form. On the other hand, your bank and the Treasury are going to want to be sure everything is correct before they hand you $400,000.

Since you just found the Savings Bonds, I assume the Power of Attorney doesn’t specifically mention Savings Bonds. If it did, there would be no question that you could cash the bonds using the form for handling many bonds with one signature. Typically you’d just present that form before a bank officer and sign for your mother as the POA, then send in the form with the bonds.

If your POA doesn’t specifically mention Savings Bonds, my best advice for you is to email the Treasury and ask it how to proceed.

Tom Adams

On May 27th, 2010 molly Phillips said:

I have several savings bonds that are in my deceased Mother and deceased Brother names that I need to cash. In both cases neither my mother nor my brother had wills indicating what to do with the savings bonds. My father is still living and I feel he should recieve the money. I have spoke to an attorney who states it needs to go to probate. can you please advise me is there a way around probate or how to begin the probate process if no other way to cash. I have been to the bank and still will not give to my father even though my parents were still married when my mother passed. thank you molly phillips

On May 28th, 2010 Tom Adams said:

Molly – Probate laws differ from state to state, so consulting a lawyer was the right thing to do. If the value of the Savings Bonds is higher than the probate threshold, then there’s no alternative to probate. You would consult an attorney to begin that process.

There are a number of confusing factors here, however. Who died last, your mother or your brother? Is the OR between their names or POD? Are you going to have the registration changed to your father’s name or are your going to cash the bonds? Are you aware of the income tax implications of cashing them? And, of course, what is the total value of the bonds?

If you or your father spent a weekend reading my book you’d find it very helpful.

Tom Adams

Comments Closed

June 1, 2010

After six years, over 400 posts, 3,680 real comments, and over 90,000 spam comments (thank you, Akismet, for making managing a blog with comments possible), I am closing public comments on I will contine to update the main articles on this site, but not the comments.

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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