Savings Bonds many times are missed in the living trust “funding” process. Clients forget about them or they think it’s too much of a hassle to transfer the bonds to their trust. If title to the bonds is not properly transferred to the client’s new living trust, and the bonds exceed $50,000 in value at death, a probate will be necessary.
It’s really pretty easy to transfer savings bonds to a living trust. Here’s what you do:
1. Round up all your original bonds;
2. Fill out form 1851 from the Dept. of Treasury;
3. Send the bonds and form by federal express to the Dept. of Treasury.
In about three weeks they will return your bonds registered in the name of your living trust.
Note: Many times the bonds are so old they are not paying interest. You can check the value of the bonds using the online savings bond calculator.