When your child is underage, a legal guardian or parent may have the ability to cash savings bonds given to the child. You cannot cash the savings bond if the child does not live with you or after the child has reached legal age. You also typically must wait at least a year after the savings bond has been purchased to receive a cash payment.
Once a child reaches the age of majority, the parent no longer has any legal rights regarding the savings bonds. In that case, the child must sign a request form from the financial institution that authorizes the parent to cash in the savings bonds. If the parent does not reside with the child or does not have legal custody, he cannot cash the savings bond.
Savings bonds can be purchased and assigned co-owners. If you and your child are listed as co-owners, you have the ability to cash the bond. Parents typically are named as co-owners when bonds are purchased for children under the age of 18. Parents can name themselves as co-owners when buying savings bonds for their own children.
If the parent is not named co-owner, but the savings bond is issued to a minor and the parent has legal custody, a note can be submitted at the time of cashing the bond. According to TreasuryDirect, you write on the back of the bond the following statement or something similar: "I certify that I am the parent of (your child’s name) with whom she resides. She is 5 years old and is not of sufficient understanding to make this request." You sign your name. The child’s address and Social Security number should be placed on the bond at the time of cashing.
Before you cash the savings bond, you should contact the financial institution you plan to use. Inform a representative of the institution that you plan to cash a child’s savings bond, and find out what requirements are posed by the institution. For instance, you may have to be a customer of the bank before it will cash the savings bond. You typically need to bring valid identification, such as a driver’s license.