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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 20, 2020

Title 31Subtitle BChapter IISubchapter APart 315 → Subpart L


Title 31: Money and Finance: Treasury
PART 315—REGULATIONS GOVERNING U.S. SAVINGS BONDS, SERIES A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, AND K, AND U.S. SAVINGS NOTES


Subpart L—Deceased Owner, Coowner or Beneficiary


Contents
§315.70   General rules governing entitlement.
§315.71   Decedent's estate.
§315.72   [Reserved]

§315.70   General rules governing entitlement.

The following rules govern ownership or entitlement where one or both of the persons named on a bond have died without the bond having been surrendered for payment or reissue:

(a) Single owner bond. If the owner of a bond registered in single ownership form has died, the bond becomes the property of that decedent's estate, and payment or reissue will be made as provided in this subpart.

(b) Coowner bond—(1) One coowner deceased. If one of the coowners named on a bond has died, the surviving coowner will be recognized as its sole and absolute owner, and payment or reissue will be made as though the bond were registered in the name of the survivor alone. Any request for reissue by the surviving coowner must be supported by proof of death of the other coowner.

(2) Both coowners deceased. If both coowners named on a bond have died, the bond becomes the property of the estate of the coowner who died last, and payment or reissue will be made as if the bond were registered in the name of the last deceased coowner alone. Proof of death of both coowners will be required to establish the order of death.

(3) Simultaneous death of both coowners. If both coowners die under conditions where it cannot be established, either by presumption of law or otherwise, which coowner died first, the bond becomes the property of both equally, and payment or reissue will be made accordingly.

(c) Beneficiary bond—(1) Owner deceased. If the owner of a bond registered in beneficiary form has died and is survived by the beneficiary, upon proof of death of the owner, the beneficiary will be recognized as the sole and absolute owner of the bond. Payment or reissue will be made as though the bond were registered in the survivor's name alone. A request for payment or reissue by the beneficiary must be supported by proof of death of the owner.

(2) Beneficiary deceased. If the beneficiary's death occurs before, or simultaneous with, that of the registered owner, payment or reissue will be made as though the bond were registered in the owner's name alone. Proof of death of the owner and beneficiary is required to establish the order of death.

(d) Nonresident aliens. If the person who becomes entitled to a bond because of the death of an owner is an alien who is a resident of an area with respect to which the Department of the Treasury restricts or regulates the delivery of checks drawn against funds of the United States or its agencies or instrumentalities, delivery of the redemption check will not be made so long as the restriction applies. See Department of the Treasury Circular No. 655, current revision (31 CFR part 211).

§315.71   Decedent's estate.

(a) Estate is being administered. (1) A legal representative of a deceased owner's estate may request payment of savings bonds to the estate, or may distribute the savings bonds to the persons entitled.

(2) Appropriate proof of appointment for the legal representative of the estate is required. Letters of appointment must be dated not more than one year prior to the date of submission of the letters of appointment.

(b) Estate has been settled previously. If the estate has been settled previously through judicial proceedings, the persons entitled may request payment or reissue of the savings bonds. A certified copy of the court-approved final accounting for the estate, the court's decree of distribution, or other appropriate evidence is required.

(c) Special provisions under the law of the jurisdiction of the decedent's domicile. If there is no formal or regular administration and no representative of the estate is to be appointed, the person appointed to receive or distribute the assets of a decedent's estate without regular administration under summary or small estates procedures under applicable local law may request payment or reissue of savings bonds. Appropriate evidence is required.

(d) When administration is required. If the total redemption value of the Treasury securities and undelivered payments, if any, held directly on our records that are the property of the decedent's estate is greater than $100,000, administration of the decedent's estate will be required. The redemption value of savings bonds and the principal amount of marketable securities will be used to determine the value of securities, and will be determined as of the date of death. Administration may also be required at the discretion of the Department for any case.

(e) Voluntary representative for small estates that are not being otherwise administered—(1) General. A voluntary representative is a person qualified according to paragraph (e)(3) of this section, to redeem or to distribute a decedent's savings bonds. The voluntary representative procedures are for the convenience of the Department; entitlement to the decedent's savings bonds and held payments, if any, is determined by the law of the jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the date of death. Voluntary representative procedures may be used only if:

(i) There has been no administration, no administration is contemplated, and no summary or small estate procedures under applicable local law have been used;

(ii) The total redemption value of the Treasury securities and held payments, if any, held directly on our records that are the property of the decedent's estate is $100,000 or less as of the date of death; and

(iii) There is a person eligible to serve as the voluntary representative according to paragraph (e)(3) of this section.

(2) Authority of voluntary representative. A voluntary representative may:

(i) Redeem the decedent's savings bonds on behalf of the persons entitled by the law of the jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the date of death;

(ii) Distribute the decedent's savings bonds to the persons entitled by the law of the jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the date of death.

(3) Order of precedence for voluntary representative. An individual eighteen years of age or older may act as a voluntary representative according to the following order of precedence: A surviving spouse; if there is no surviving spouse, then a child of the decedent; if there are none of the above, then a descendant of a deceased child of the decedent; if there are none of the above, then a parent of the decedent; if there are none of the above, then a brother or sister of the decedent; if there are none of the above, then a descendant of a deceased brother or sister of the decedent; if there are none of the above, then a next of kin of the decedent, as determined by the law of the jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the date of death. As used in this order of precedence, child means a natural or adopted child of the decedent.

(4) Liability. By serving, the voluntary representative warrants that the distribution of payments or savings bonds is to the persons entitled by the law of the jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the date of death. The United States is not liable to any person for the improper distribution of payments or savings bonds. Upon payment or distribution of the savings bonds at the request of the voluntary representative, the United States is released to the same extent as if it had paid or delivered to a representative of the estate appointed pursuant to the law of the jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the date of death. The voluntary representative shall indemnify and hold harmless the United States and all creditors and persons entitled to the estate of the decedent. The amount of the indemnification is limited to an amount no greater than the value received by the voluntary representative.

(f) Creditor. If there has been no administration, no administration is contemplated, no summary or small estate procedures under applicable local law have been used, and there is no person eligible to serve as a voluntary representative pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, then a creditor may make a claim for payment for the amount of the debt, providing the debt has not been barred by applicable local law.

[70 FR 57430, Sept. 30, 2005]

§315.72   [Reserved]

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