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Ask government about lost savings bond

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Dear Dr. Don,
My children had savings bonds issued to them when they were born. I believe that all of them were Series EE bonds issued between 1990 and 1995.

We can no longer locate the bonds. We don’t know if they were taken and cashed by someone who could have had access to them, such as a live-in nanny.

The Social Security numbers were either my husband’s or mine, or perhaps a friend in one case, and they were issued jointly or “with rights of survivorship” for my children. What can I do to check and see if the bonds were ever cashed?
— Veronica Verify

Dear Veronica,
The TreasuryDirect Web page “EE/E Savings Bonds FAQs” provides the following information that should help you to get your children’s bonds reissued:

What should I do if my paper savings bond has been lost, stolen or destroyed?
Simply fill out the form for Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bonds (Form PD F 1048) and mail it to the address provided on the form.

If you don’t have a listing of your savings bonds’ issue dates and serial numbers, write to Savings Bonds, Parkersburg, WV 26106-7012. Provide as much information on the bond as possible and request a search of our records. We will replace your savings bonds if we can establish that a person entitled to cash the bonds hasn’t done so.

We can convert paper certificates to electronic format in a TreasuryDirect account if you have received an invitation from us. You may want to consider this option if you’re concerned about bonds being lost or destroyed. For more information on converting paper bonds, visit the SmartExchangeSM program.

The government also issues this warning on the Web site:

NOTE: Once you receive replacement bonds or payment for lost bonds, the original bonds belong to the U.S. Government. If you find bonds after receiving replacements or payment for them, please return them to us! Replacement bonds will show the original issue date.

Assuming you get the bonds replaced, it’s a good idea to keep a listing of your bonds. One of the easiest ways is to use the Savings Bond Wizard and input your holdings. It will allow you to keep track of interest payment dates, interest rates and the bonds’ current values.