How to Transfer HH Bonds Upon Death

HH bonds are debt obligations that the United States Treasury Department issued prior to Sept. 1, 2004. HH bonds, like all savings bonds, are non-transferable which means you cannot sell or give the bond to someone whose name does not appear on them. However, if a deceased bond owner named you as a pay-on-death beneficiary, your name appears on the bond and you can transfer it into your own name. Additionally, if you jointly purchased an HH bond, you can transfer the bond to your sole ownership upon the death of the other owner.

Locate your bond and review the issue date that appears on its face. You cannot change ownership of your bond if the bond no longer pays interest or if you are within a few months of the bond's maturity date. Bonds issued before 1980 paid interest for 30 years and more recently issued bonds pay interest for 20 years.

Obtain a certified copy of the deceased bond owner's death certificate. Several copies of a death certificate are normally issued at the time of death and you need one of these originals as opposed to a photo copy.

Complete the Treasury Department's PDF 4000 form "Request Reissue of a United States Savings Bond." You must include the bond's issue date, serial number, face amount and the name and Social Security number of the deceased owner as shown on the face of the bond. You must also fill out your personal information, the name of anyone you wish to name as a beneficiary and the reason for the reissue.

Ask a bank employee or broker who holds a medallion stamp to witness your signature on the form. Medallion stamps are similar to notary stamps, but are used for documents related to securities.

Look up the nearest treasury securities site by entering your zip code in the office locator. Mail your completed PDF 4000 form, the death certificate and the actual HH bond to the office that covers your area. Allow up to 30 days for your reissued bond to arrive after which you can file a claim for a lost bond if you have not received it.

Tips

  • In the past, you could exchange mature HH bonds for EE savings bonds. However, since the Treasury Department stopped issuing HH bonds in 2004, you can no longer exchange mature bonds and must redeem your bond at maturity, at which time you receive the face value.

Warnings

  • You can redeem EE and I savings bonds at most local banks but you can only redeem an HH bond by sending it directly to your nearest U.S. Treasury Department office. Proceeds from redeemed HH bonds are disbursed via direct deposit so you must have a bank account set up if you plan to redeem your bond.