If you wish to give your series EE bonds as a gift, you can have the U.S. Department of the Treasury reissue them in the name of your beneficiary. The agency provides a form you can use to initiate the process and makes it available online or by mail. Get as much information as you can about the implications of transferring your savings bonds. You can talk to a representative at your bank, send a letter to the Treasury or consult your attorney.
Transferring to a New Owner
If you are removing your name from the series EE bonds in favor of a new owner, you can file Form 4000 with the U.S. Treasury Department. You would have to fill sections A and C and have the new owner complete sections B and C. Section A asks for such information as the description of the bond, the extent of the reissue -- whether it's a complete or partial transfer -- and your identification. Section B requires the new bond description and the new owner's information for registration. If you are transferring paper bonds, the Treasury will reissue them in electronic form. Section B also requires the new owner to agree to this change.
Transferring to a Personal Trust Estate
Your family could be subject to long and costly probate court proceedings after your death if your assets are not protected. You can avoid this by placing your assets in a living trust. With Form 1851, you can ask the Treasury Department to transfer the EE bonds to your personal trust estate. This form asks for a description of the bonds, trust information and the new bond inscription.
Transferring Due to Death of the Original Owner
It might not be necessary to file a form to transfer the bonds after the original owner dies if you are listed as the co-owner or beneficiary. As the survivor, you can leave the bond as it is, cash it or have it reissued if it is still earning interest. If it is a paper EE bond, complete Form 4000 to have it reissued in your name. Contact the Treasury Department if the deceased owner had an online account.
As the original owner of the EE savings bonds, you are liable for taxes on the interest earned over the years when you transfer them to a new owner. One way to delay this tax event is to add the recipient's name to the bonds as a co-owner or a beneficiary. You can do this before the bond matures. You could also minimize the impact of the tax if you report the interest earned on the bonds each year on your tax return.
Points to Consider
Keep the bond's maturity date in mind as you consider a change in ownership. The Treasury Department will not reissue any bonds that are less than one month away from this date. You must sign any reissue form in front of an official at a bank or other financial institution before you can send it to the Treasury's office. This is to ensure that you are the rightful owner of the bonds and no fraud is involved. Once that's verified, the official will place a medallion stamp on your signature. You can complete this process at any financial institution that participates in a medallion signature guarantee program.
- Treasury Direct: Reissuing Paper EE Bonds
- Treasury Direct: Request to Reissue United States Savings Bonds
- Treasury Direct: Request to Reissue United States Savings Bonds to a Personal Trust
- Treasury Direct: Death of a Savings Bond Owner
- Marketwatch: Mind Tax Considerations
- Treasury Direct: Do I Need a Medallion Seal or Stamp to Transfer My Securities?
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