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Savings-Bonds-Alert: Savings Bond Registration Questions

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Savings Bond Registration Questions

Who may cash a Savings Bond that has three names listed on the face as follows: TO: Levi Doe, Mail to: Mary Doe, or: Reggie Doe (can the "mail to" person cash the bond - what if this is actually the person who purchased the bond)? If a bond is made out To: Mary Doe POD Levi Doe can either cash it? What is POD? If only two names are on a bond (with an "OR") can one of these people change the bond names to themself and someone else? I'm asking this in case of the death to one or any other reason owner wishes to change second name? If the incorrect Social Security Number is listed ON the bond, as long as it is corrected WHEN it is cashed, is there a problem? Thank you very much. Tom's response The "mail to" person is not a registered owner and can't cash the bond. If the social security number is wrong, it's not a problem. It will be corrected when you cash the bond. If there are two names with POD (payable on death), the first person is the owner and the second is the beneficiary. The beneficiary can't cash the bond unless the owner dies. The owner can change the beneficiary whenever they like with no consequences. If there are two names with OR, they are co-owners. If one of the co-owners has died, the remaining co-owner can add someone as either co-owner or beneficiary. If there are two living co-owners, changing one of them will create a taxable event. You can either just cash the bond and buy a new one, or you can have the registration changed and pay the tax. The problem with the latter is that it's easy to forget some of the tax has been paid and to pay it a second time with the bond is redeemed. Click here for more information on the Double-taxation trap. And click here for more information about all this, including links to the forms you'd need: How to Have a Savings Bond Reissued to Change the Registration


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