Savings bonds are an easy way to save, particularly since many workers can use a payroll deduction to purchase them. However, those bonds are also easy to lose – they get filed away, put in drawers, owners put them in “safe” places but may not tell anyone about them, or they can get destroyed.
If you suspect you or any of your relatives, living or dead, have savings bonds that were never cashed, you can confirm your suspicions. You’ll need the social security number of the person whom you believe had bonds. Then just go to U.S. Department of Treasury website. After entering the social security number, you can find any bonds that haven’t been cashed. If the owner of the bonds is deceased, an heir can file a form with the Treasury Department to claim it. As always, the person acquiring the bond will pay the tax on the accrued interest.
One last tip – if you have savings bonds as part of your estate plan, make sure you include the information and location in your files so the bonds won’t be lost.