The U.S. Treasury issues savings bonds to listed owners and a bond held by an owner cannot be transferred or have the ownership changed. To make changes to a bond, the bond must be reissued by the Treasury Department. There are certain events and circumstances for which a new bond will be reissued.
Replace or Reissue
The Treasury differentiates between replacing or reissuing savings bonds. Replacement is for bonds which have been stolen, lost, destroyed or never received. Reissue is the term used for bonds sent to the Treasury that have received a change in ownership or beneficiary, such as an additional co-owner or a new named beneficiary. Reissue is also used to remove a beneficiary or a deceased co-owner. Any type of bond ownership transfer will require a reissue of the bond.
To have a savings bond reissued you must complete the correct form, have owner signatures on the form verified at a local bank and mail the form to the Treasury. All of the required forms can be downloaded on the TreasuryDirect.gov website under the Forms menu tab. Among the different forms for reissue are form PDF 1048 to replace lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged savings bonds. Use form PDF 4000 to add or drop a beneficiary or co-owner. The PDF 4000 is also used to change names due to divorce or marriage or to fix a substantial error on a bond. Use form PDF 1851 to transfer a savings bond to a trust. Form PDF is required to put a court appointed trustee on a bond to act for the benefit of heirs of the estate.
No Reissue Required
The Treasury Direct website states that no reissue of a savings bond is required in the case of minor spelling errors or address changes. These items can be corrected when the bond is redeemed. If the owner of a bond has a name change due to marriage, the bond does not have to be reissued. The owner can sign her original name when the bond is redeemed. A name change for other reasons requires the bond be sent to the Treasury for reissue.
Ownership Change Limitations
A savings bond reissue request for the purpose of removing a co-owner or a complete change of bond ownership may not be accepted by the Treasury. Series EE bonds can be reissued with co-owners dropped or entirely new owners named. A complete change of ownership will probably trigger a taxable event. The rules for series I savings bonds allow the removal of an owner or co-owner name only in the event of death or divorce.
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