My grandmother gave me a series of US government savings bonds before she died. I have the ID numbers, but not the physical bonds themselves. The bonds are in my name; I received them as gifts.

Will a bank still allow me to cash these out? Is there somewhere else I can go to do this? I tried to look on the TreasuryDirect website, but couldn't find anything.

  • 1
    What does "gave me a series..." mean? She gave you the numbers but not the bonds themselves? Does her executor have the bonds themselves? Is it possible that he/she cashed them in already as part of settling her estate and the money has gone elsewhere because the will did not say something like "To my beloved grandson Xodarap I leave the US savings bonds numbered x,y,z..." or she died intestate? Dec 8, 2012 at 15:58
  • @Dilip: The bonds were given to me during her lifetime (i.e. not part of a will). I believe the bonds are in a safety deposit box, but it's inconvenient for me to access them.
    – Xodarap
    Dec 8, 2012 at 17:52
  • 4
    Inconvenient as it may be, I would go to the safety deposit box and get the bonds. Anything else will be less convenient. Dec 8, 2012 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


If the bonds are in a safe deposit box which is not rented to you and to which you do not possess the key anyway, and you do not have a letter or other document from your grandmother in your possession saying that she has given you the bonds (which you can collect from a safe deposit box in Bank X in City Y in State Z), you are SOL. The bonds are part of her estate and do not belong to you.

I doubt that any bank or even the Treasury will cash bonds registered in your grandmother's name knowing only the numbers, or even the actual bonds themselves, unless you have a letter in your possession from your grandmother saying that she has gifted the bonds to you. You might be able to follow the procedure for replacing lost US Savings Bonds if you have a letter and the bond numbers, but now we are getting into legal details that are inappropriate for this forum.

I don't like to say this, but your story does not pass the smell test.

In view of the revised question, I would say that @DJClayworth's comment on the main question is probably the best course to pursue. You could try looking at Form PD F 1048 (available through the TreasuryDirect web site) which allows you to ask the Bureau of Public Debt to re-issue lost or destroyed bonds. But the Form may ask you to affirm under penalty of perjury that all the statements you make on the form are true, and you have stated that the bonds are neither lost nor destroyed, just inconvenient to retrieve, and you don't really need the bonds to be replaced for the purpose of holding them as investments, possibly in your personal safe deposit box, but to cash them in.

  • To clarify, by "gave them to me" I mean the bonds are in my name. (It's fairly common among people I know to receive bonds as gifts - the government even has support for it on their website.) The paper bonds are just in my family's safety deposit box, which is geographically distant from me.
    – Xodarap
    Dec 8, 2012 at 20:31
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    @Xodarap You could have saved a lot of time if you had not coyly introduced your grandmother into the picture giving the impression that she handed you the bonds (registered in her name), or a list of numbers of bonds that you were supposed to get from her safe deposit box, when you visited her, possibly in a nursing home, or after she became senile. If the bonds are in your name already, then use the "I lost my Savings Bonds" procedure. Dec 8, 2012 at 22:22
  • @Xodarap I suggest you edit your original question and include the relevant information from your comments. Dec 9, 2012 at 14:12
  • I have updated the question.
    – Xodarap
    Dec 9, 2012 at 19:12

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