How to Claim War Bonds

How to Claim War Bonds

Step 1

Decide where to cash your bonds. If you are the original owner and purchaser of the bonds, redeeming them is a matter of going to your bank or financial institution with documentation of identity, and the bank will process the bond redemption. You also can contact the U.S. Bureau of Public Debt or the nearest Federal Reserve Bank.

Step 2

Prove that you are the person listed as beneficiary on the bonds if they were inherited. If you are not the original owner of the bonds, you must prove that you are now the rightful owner of them. You may already be listed as a beneficiary on the bonds; if that is the case, you may need to provide identification for yourself and a death certificate of the deceased bond owner.

Step 3

Prove that you are the original bond owner's heir. If you are not listed on the bond as the beneficiary, you may need to provide, in addition to the death certificate of the original owner, proof that you represent the deceased’s estate, are next of kin or are otherwise an heir.

Step 4

Provide identity of the purchaser. If the bonds were purchased as a gift, it is possible that the purchaser’s social security number might be required as proof of legal ownership. Unlike savings bonds that are issued today, these old bonds are not contained in a computerized database. Determining the legal owner may require some paperwork.