How to Find a Deceased's Savings Bond

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People often inherit a bond as part of a decedent's estate. However, trying to track down one, or even several, slips of paper among the numerous assets that a person collects over their lifetime can be very time consuming. Since it can take up to 30 years for most savings bonds to mature, it may be that the decedent misplaced it over the years. Locating a lost savings bond is not as difficult as you may think.

Check the Treasury Hunt at TreasuryDirect.gov, which is the U.S. Bureau of Public Debt's website to help locate lost savings bonds. Enter the Social Security number of the decedent to see if the bond was returned to the Department of the Treasury. The site is limited in that it only holds information for Series E bonds issued after 1974.

Fill out PDF 1048 E with as much information about the bonds as you possibly can. Take the forms, your identification, the death certificate of the decedent and legal documentation stating that you own or inherited the bonds to a notary public. Have this person notarize the form prior to submitting it to the Department of the Treasury.

Indicate on PDF 1048 E how you would like to receive payment for the bonds if they have fully matured, either check or direct deposit. If the bonds have not fully matured, you may request that the Department of the Treasury supplies you with replacement bonds. If the decedent held Series EE or Series I bonds which were not yet one-year old, you may only elect to receive replacement bonds.

Mail the form to the appropriate address, which differs for Series H/HH bonds and Series E/EE/I bonds. The Department of the Treasury provides the address in the instructions to PDF 1048 E, which are included with the actual form.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you inherit the savings bonds as part of the decedent's estate, you should bring documentation that states this fact with you when you get PDF 1048 F notarized.
  • The government considers any falsifying of information on PDF 1048 E to be fraud, which is punishable by fine or imprisonment.

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