Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Update: A Lesson Learned in Redeeming Will's Savings Bonds

A recent update: you will see below that I had to send the bonds to the Bureau of Public Debt after being certified by a bank officer. The paperwork was sent back to us (they are holding onto the bonds) because Frank had not signed the papers (he is co-guardian). I usually am the only one who has to sign if I am doing something. Even though the bonds did not have Frank's name on them as well, because he is co-guardian he had to have his name certified on the form as well. So make sure all guardians sign and certify the '1522' before mailing.

I found a few savings bonds for Will the other day and decided to cash them in since he is below the maximum money allowed in his account for his SSI payments (cashing them in would not bring him over the max either). So off I go to the bank with his guardianship papers and bonds.

There starts a new adventure. The bonds are made out to Will; the guardianship paper is made out to the 'estate' of William. Will is very much alive. So now there is a call to Treasury Direct to make sure the teller and I understand how to redeem them. It has to be done by mailing them in, unsigned, with a certified copy of the guardianship paper, a form #1522 which I filled out, and then it needs to be signed by a CERTIFYING OFFICER with MEDALLION STAMPS from a bank. After the Bureau of Public Debt receives them, it may take between 3 - 4 weeks for the money to be deposited in his account. They cannot be cashed. I did find out later that MAYBE if I needed them right away, if Will had gone to the bank with me and somehow answered the bank teller that it was OK to cash, he could have gotten the money immediately. These savings bonds can also be re-issued. "We must reissue a bond in these situations: to correct a major error, for a court-ordered change, when you change the beneficiary, when you change who owns or co-owns the bond."
Please check with Treasury Direct for information. If you are holding any savings bonds for your child and maybe looking at guardianship down the road, you may want to speak to someone at your bank or call Treasury Direct for advice.

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