Changing a co-owner or beneficary who has died
Friday, July 23rd, 2004
Categorized as: Savings Bond registration changes
I have E and EE bonds. My spouse, who has died, is listed as co-owner on some and as beneficiary on others. I would like to change this registration to another person. Do I have to provide a death certificate?
In general, the process for removing a co-owner or beneficiary who has died from a Savings Bond registration, and adding a new name if you like, is similar to any other registration change.
My article on adding a co-owner or adding/changing a beneficiary has additional information, including a link to the form you’ll need.
However, there are some cases in which you do need to provide a copy of a death certificate.
With the older Series E and H bonds, you can’t change a living beneficiary without that person’s permission, so you need to provide the death certificate of a deceased beneficary.
If the deceased person’s name is listed first on the bond and you are listed second, normally changing that first name would be a taxable event for the deceased person. Providing a death certificate will prevent that.
Otherwise, a copy of the death certificate isn’t strictly required, but if you have one it could facilitate things to include it when you send in the form.