Posted by & filed under Special Estate Planning Issues.

U.S. Savings BondIt is rare that a financial institution will cash U.S. Savings bonds, at least in the Mahoning Valley. Once again, I have a client who is the attorney-in-fact for a person who is very likely legally incompetent, and my client wants to cash in bonds on behalf of the incompetent person. According to the instructions and forms on the Treasury Direct website, the incompetent person will have to appear before a bank office and have his/her signature “Medallion Guaranteed.” Good luck.

There are other options. My client could file for a guardianship of the property of the incompetent person. I have written elsewhere on the disaster that process is, and I would not recommend it for my most hated enemy. My client could also wait until the incompetent person dies. However, the incompetent person likely will have to go on Medicaid to pay for his/her care and my client will end up hiring a lawyer to file a guardianship in any event in order to cash the bonds in order to qualify for Medicaid. Do yourself a favor–cash in your U.S. Savings bonds while you yourself are still able.

John C. Grundy, Esq.

Cortland, OH 44410