Can I Change Names on EE Bonds?

Major errors in the spelling of your name could make cashing in your bonds difficult.

Major errors in the spelling of your name could make cashing in your bonds difficult.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury makes it relatively simple to change the name on your series EE bonds when it's necessary. The agency provides various forms for this purpose on its Treasury Direct website, and each handles a specific type of name change request. You can make the adjustment while the bonds are still earning interest. Keep in mind that there might be tax implications for some name change requests, such as when you transfer the bonds to a new owner. It's best to consult with an attorney before you make such an adjustment. You could also get more information from a bank representative or from the Treasury via mail.

Evaluating Need for Name Change

Many people update important documents to record their new last name after marriage. It is not necessary to do this with your savings bonds. When you are ready to cash them, you can sign the document with your old name, as it has been written on the bonds, and your new name. Also, you don't have to reissue the bond to correct a minor typo in the spelling of your name. You can just sign your correct name when you cash the bonds.

Fixing Errors in Your Name

The Treasury will reissue the bonds if there are major errors in the listed name. This would include errors such as a missing first or last name, a name that isn't yours and several typos in the spelling. You can make a request for reissue with Form 4000. You can also use this form to change your name or a co-owner's name because of a marriage annulment, divorce or court order; transfer the bonds to a new owner; and add or remove a co-owner or beneficiary.

Transferring Ownership to Trust

A personal trust estate that incudes all your assets can protect your family from a lengthy court probate after your death. You can place your savings bonds in trust as well by transferring your ownership to it. The Treasury can reissue the bonds in the name of the trust when you file Form 1851. You will have to provide information such as a description of the bond, your personal details and the account number for the trust. This form is also available from the Treasury's website or via mail.

Approving the Change

You can make changes as you wish if you are the sole owner of the series EE savings bonds. If there is a co-owner, you would have to seek approval from the other party before you could initiate a reissue that would affect everyone. For instance, the co-owner should agree before you transfer ownership to a new owner. Both parties would have to sign the reissue form before the Treasury can process such an alteration. You don't need the other party's signature if you are making a change that would only affect you, such as adjusting the spelling of your name.

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