savings

How to Search for Old Savings Bonds

If you lost track of U.S. savings bonds purchased decades ago for you when you were a child, the Treasury Department can help you find them.

Question: My grandfather and father passed away when I was 8 years old. I heard they had savings bonds for me. I'm 37 now and have no one left to ask about it. How do I find out if there really are any savings bonds for me, and how do I go about finding them?

Answer: The best way to search for old savings bonds is to fill out Form 1048, Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bonds, with as much information as possible. (The government's Treasury Hunt tool used to be a good resource for tracking down information about Series E bonds issued since 1974. But the Treasury Department recently discontinued that tool, and it didn’t include information about older bonds or other types of savings bonds.)

You likely won't be able to provide all of the information requested on the form, such as the serial numbers of the bonds, but answer as many of the questions as you can, says Brad Benson, public affairs specialist with the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which runs the savings bond program. "The most relevant information will be the name the bond was purchased under, the Social Security number and the address. And the approximate dates of the bonds will help, too," he says. "Any information you can provide will help, even though it might not fit neatly on the form."

Benson recommends including your own Social Security number as well as the names and Social Security numbers of your father and grandfather, or anyone whose name the bond may have been purchased under (such as your mother or guardian). Some people purchase bonds under their own name, address and Social Security number and have them payable on death to a child or grandchild. Others know the Social Security number and address of the child or grandchild, so they purchase the bonds under the child's name and information. You won't know the specific dates of the bonds, so a suspected range of dates is probably the best you can do. For the address, give any addresses that may have been used when the bonds were purchased, says Benson.

For more information about the procedures, see TreasuryDirect's Replacing or Reissuing a Paper EE Bond page or Reissuing or Replacing Series HH or Series H Savings Bonds. For more information about when the different types of savings bonds were issued and whether or not they may still be earning interest, see Treasury Securities That Have Stopped Earning Interest and the History of the Savings Bonds Program table.

Most Popular

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status
tax refunds

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status

If you're waiting for your tax refund, the IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your payment.
March 2, 2021
Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your stimulus checks.
February 19, 2021
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021

Recommended

Bonds: 10 Things You Need to Know
Investing for Income

Bonds: 10 Things You Need to Know

Bonds can be more complex than stocks, but it's not hard to become a knowledgeable fixed-income investor.
July 22, 2020
14 Social Security Tasks You Can Do Online
retirement

14 Social Security Tasks You Can Do Online

Why visit a government office to get your Social Security business done? You can do much of that online.
June 26, 2020
Having the Money Talk with Your Parents, with Cameron Huddleston
Financial Planning for Alzheimer's

Having the Money Talk with Your Parents, with Cameron Huddleston

Managing your parents' finances can be a difficult situation. Doing so if you haven't laid down a plan for how to do it is worse.
March 2, 2021
Will Your Stimulus Check Increase Your Tax on Social Security Benefits?
Coronavirus and Your Money

Will Your Stimulus Check Increase Your Tax on Social Security Benefits?

The answer to this question comes down to whether your stimulus check increases your "provisional income."
March 1, 2021