Dear Dr. Don,
I have four Series EE savings bonds held in my 16-year-old daughter’s name. How do I cash them?
— Patricia Ponders

Dear Patricia,
As the parent of a minor child, you have the ability to cash the bonds for your child.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Public Debt has a Web site called TreasuryDirect that offers important information about U.S. Treasury securities. Here’s what the TreasuryDirect Web page “Redeeming EE/E and I Bonds under Special Circumstances” has to say on the topic of cashing in the bonds of a minor child:

Children’s Bonds
A parent can redeem a child’s bond if the child is too young to sign the request for payment and he/she lives with the parent or the parent has been granted legal custody.

In this instance, the request would be made on the back of the bond as follows:

“I certify that I am the parent of Jane Doe with whom Jane Doe resides (or to whom legal custody has been granted). She is ___ years old and is not of sufficient understanding to make this request. John Doe on behalf of Jane Doe”

Local financial institutions that redeem savings bonds can pay bonds in the circumstances outlined above. When a local institution is unwilling to redeem bonds, the signature of the person requesting redemption can be guaranteed or certified at a bank or financial institution, and the bond sent to the nearest Treasury Retail Securities Site that handles savings bonds.

I get a fair number of readers writing in with savings bond questions. I’ve had several readers write in to ask how to keep children’s parents from cashing bonds presented as gifts to the child.

I don’t know why you want to cash in your daughter’s bonds, but I hope it’s for a good reason and that it’s for her.