An interesting battle has begun between a number of States and the Federal government over who owns and deserves to keep the money from Savings Bonds that go uncashed!
The Wall Street Journal has been following a story about 3 sisters from Kansas who never married and ended up passing away with more than $670,000 in uncashed Savings Bonds that had been forgotten in their bank’s safety deposit box. Kansas wants to keep the bonds in their “unclaimed property programs” which can help Kansas if never collected. Currently, the Federal government has over $25 Billion worth of uncashed, matured Savings Bonds going all the way back to WW II and believes that the States have no right to take possession.
A recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals sided with the Government that could impact about 24 States that have passed legislation stating that they should get legal title to them.
So….if you are a holder of Savings Bonds, here are some tips:
- If you have Savings Bonds, know where they are and let your POA know as well
- Don’t forget that they have a maturity; the Government will NOT inform you that they have matured and stopped paying interest
- As they mature, begin to cash them in
- As cash flow/income is needed (whether retirement, college, down-payment, etc.), don’t forget to consider using Savings Bonds.