Estate Planning

Savings bonds can be useful in estate planning because, on the death of the original bond owner, the co-owner or beneficiary becomes the owner. A will is not needed.

It's important to register your bonds correctly. Registrations for Series EE and I Bonds, both electronic and paper bonds, can vary, so it's a good idea to find out how to register each type of bond. View information about registrations for EE and I Savings Bonds.


A trust is a right of property, real or personal, held by one person appointed or required by law to administer a trust, for the benefit of another.

  • Can be created for any purpose, which is not illegal, or against public policy.
  • No limit to the number of trustees or the number of persons who may create a trust.
  • Can be established by any organization or competent adult holding a legal title to property.
  • A testamentary trust can be created under the will of a decedent.

The person who creates a trust is called the grantor, maker, donor, trustor, or settlor. The person charged with administering a trust is called the trustee. The party for whose benefit a trust is created, or who is to enjoy the income of the trust, is called the beneficiary or donee.

See information about trust registrations for electronic bonds.

Trust Instrument

A Trust Instrument is the document that sets out in writing the authority, duties, and rights of the parties involved. The instrument may be called an Agreement, Indenture, Declaration, or Deed. In the case of a testamentary trust, the trust instrument is the decedent's will.

Learn more about savings bonds registered in trust form and how to reissue bonds to a trust.