Electronic EE savings bonds may be redeemed through the TreasuryDirect website. Paper bonds can be cashed at many banks. TreasuryDirect doesn't keep a list of participating banks and suggests contacting the bank directly. Photo identification is usually required.
Series EE bonds must be at least 12 months old before they can be redeemed. If redeemed before the bond is 5 years old, the holder loses the last three months of interest. EE bonds continue to accumulate interest for 30 years, after which the redemption value no longer increases. TreasuryDirect recommends redeeming EE bonds that are no longer gaining value.
If the original bondholder has died, the person redeeming a paper bond must demonstrate a right to that bond. A named survivor has to provide identification. The financial institution can request additional paperwork, such as a death certificate, before redeeming the bond. If the bond had no named survivor and the decedent left no will, the administrator of the estate provides proof of death of the bondholder, fills out the appropriate Treasury form and presents identification to a certifying official. These three items get sent to the Bureau of Fiscal Service. When the bond is left to an heir through a will, the same material is sent in but by the heir. If the decedent's bonds are electronic, contact the Bureau of Fiscal Service directly for instructions.