How do I Transfer I Bonds to a Living Trust?

A living trust is used to transfer assets when you die without having those assets go through the process of legal probate. A living trust can distribute the proceeds of your estate quicker than through the will and probate process. For a living trust to be effective, your assets must be transferred to the trust with you as the trustee. The U.S. Treasury can reissue your Series I savings bonds in the name of your living trust.

Step 1

Download the Treasury's Form PDF 1851, "Request to Reissue United States Savings Bonds to a Personal Trust". The form can be found in the Savings Bonds section under the Forms menu tab on the TreasuryDirect.gov website.

Step 2

Complete the highlighted portions of the form before printing. The downloadable Treasury forms are interactive PDF documents that allow you to type in all of the required information to be printed along with the form.

Step 3

Take the completed -- but not signed -- Form PDF 1851 to a bank for signature verification. The form must be signed in the presence of a bank officer and the bank official must certify the signature on the appropriate section of the form.

Step 4

Mail the completed form and the Series I savings bonds to the Treasury address indicated on the form. The bonds will be reissued in the name of the living trust.

Tip

  • To transfer Series I bonds to a trust, an owner or co-owner listed on the bond must be the creator or beneficiary of the living trust. Series I bonds cannot be transferred to the trust of someone not listed as an owner of the bonds.
  • Savings bonds with a listed co-owner or beneficiary avoid probate and pass directly to the co-owner or beneficiary if that individual has not predeceased the owner. The use of co-owner or beneficiary on a savings bond accomplishes the same purpose as putting the bonds in a living trust.

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About the Author

Tim Plaehn has been writing financial, investment and trading articles and blogs since 2007. His work has appeared online at Seeking Alpha, Marketwatch.com and various other websites. Plaehn has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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