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  1. #1
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    May 2009
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    Default Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    My question involves personal finance in the State of: <<several - includes parent and children in multiple states>>

    Recently found out that a parent has a decent quantity of bonds with their name AND either my name, or my sibling's ("parent, siblingA", or "parent, siblingB").

    I had forgotten about these since I was a kid, and very recently found out they're still with my father, whose name (as well as either me or a sibling's name on all the bonds) is on them as well, and he's not divulging anything.

    My question is this: my siblings and I are all over 21, and the bonds were (mostly, anyways - there could always be more, we don't know) given to him and my mother when we were born/very young. In the meanwhile, they divorced, he kept those (she can't find anything in the divorce papers that itemized or even mentioned the bonds), and my siblings and I just recently found out he does still have physical possession of them. Do we have any rights, as our names are on the bonds and the nature of their original receipt, or are they fully at his discretion?

    I tried just asking him but got nowhere, and he has held physical property of mine (after I had moved out, and was no longer a minor) in a manner that was absolutely in violation of the law - it was resolved, but I'm afraid this will not be (if there's anything to resolve, of course!).
    Sorry no state listed, all siblings and father live in separate states across country! Thanks in advance for any help, I just want to know if I have a say or not, because once he knew that I knew they were in his possession, he got extremely defensive in a way I hadn't heard in a while, he's either upset I even inquired about their nature, or is in the wrong and knows it, I just need to know which!!

  2. #2
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    ((Oh, I'm not sure if it matters what type of bonds there were - in fact I didn't know there were types til a few minutes ago - but they're "state/gov" bonds, not commercial ones, as per the bond-holder, my parent, who won't really say much else!! But they're bonds in the sense they're worth $$, have already matured, etc - in fact I know that a single one of the bonds was cashed and *did* go for face-value or close enough anyways, all are general, matured bonds.))

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
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    Default Re: Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    I think you need to establish whether these bonds were issued in both names as joint tenants, in which case you or your sibling would be considered joint owners with your parent. In which case they would in fact require both tenants' endorsement to trade them prior to maturity or redeem them if they have already matured.

    Or...

    Whether they were issued as a holding in a custodial relationship meaning the bonds are in your and your sibling's name with you parent as merely a custodian (due to the fact that they were issued when you were a minor) in which case, and since you and your sibling have reach the age of maturity, they would be owned by and can only be redeemed by you or your sibling, or they should be transferred to your name.

    Lastly, in the case of joint tenancy, they could be classified as either:

    "Joint Tenants In Common" (JTIC) which in case one of the tenants were to pass away, then these bonds will have to be included in the decedent's estate (meaning they would be taxed upon transfer to the surviving tenant), or...

    "Joint Tenants With Rights Of Survivorship" (JTWROS) which simply means that upon the death of one of the tenants, full ownership of the bond would transfer to the surviving owner thereby avoiding any estate taxes.

    Quote Quoting bobOH
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    in fact I know that a single one of the bonds was cashed and *did* go for face-value or close enough anyways, all are general, matured bonds
    Well, any bond which has matured will in fact be redeemed for it’s “par value”/face value.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    THANKS!!! I think I get it - but since that would mean they are mine/my siblings', I just want to make sure before I speak to my parents again.

    The single one that was cashed had the names "dad" and "son" on it, but ONLY son cashed it - that means it's the 2nd type you referred to, and as such, the rest, the ones that have his name and names of the children individually on various bonds, those are ours 100%? He claimed he "could cash them any time he wanted to, that either of us could because both names are on them" - while I saw where he was coming from, if that were the case it'd seem odd to even bother w/ both names then.. Just want to make sure I'm 100% here before speaking with him again about this!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    Quote Quoting bobOH
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    Just want to make sure I'm 100% here before speaking with him again about this!!
    Well, I would argue that the only way to know 100% is if you had the bonds in your hands and could read the "payable to:" line... otherwise, I'm speculating on your speculating, which would make an assumption like that highly speculative!!!

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    Quote Quoting That Guy
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    Well, I would argue that the only way to know 100% is if you had the bonds in your hands and could read the "payable to:" line... otherwise, I'm speculating on your speculating, which would make an assumption like that highly speculative!!!

    Good luck!
    Thanks a ton, extremely appreciated!!!

    Therein lies the problem, I cannot view them so I cannot be sure how it's phrased, so let me ask this: is there any situation where there could be a bond, with my father's name and then mine on the bond, wherein he COULD cash it without me? Any scenario at all? Thanks in advance for all your help, it is invaluable as, due to the tone this issue has taken with those involved, knowing precisely whether or not I have *any* say is paramount to any results being obtained, because w/o knowing I have *some* rights, I'm at the mercy of his "either of us can cash them, and they're in my<father's> possession"!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    aaaaaaaand the plot thickens - seems the total $$ is like 20-fold what was previously thought, *and* the important one(s) are *not* in both names, all the big ones are child-named only.

    How does it work if you know someone is physically holding a bond, worth a lot, with your name only on it? While not knowing who issued the bond or anything about it, except that it is there?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    Quote Quoting bobOH
    View Post
    How does it work if you know someone is physically holding a bond, worth a lot, with your name only on it? While not knowing who issued the bond or anything about it, except that it is there?
    If that is the case, it doesn't work!!!

    If you are aware of who the issuer is, you can simply contact them, report the bond certificates lost, and after submitting proof of identification showing you are who you really claim you are, replacements are issued and sent to you.

    If you don't know who the issuer is... Well, I'd call that "dead money"! To you at least...

    I'm not looking to get anyone in trouble however, you should also know that bonds typically pay income on a regular basis (usually annually/semi-annually). Now, considering the fact that the bond is registered with the issuer in the name of the owner(s) who happens to be "bobOH" as well as "bobOH's sibling", the income from that bond is usually paid in the form of a check(s) issued in the name(s) of "bobOH" and bobOH's sibling".

    So "bobOH's parent" receives those checks, takes them to his/her bank but before "bobOH's parent" can deposit those checks in the account of "bobOH's parent" these checks must be endorsed by "bobOH" and "bobOH's sibling" in order for that to happen!!!

    "bobOH's" parent could have been able to deposit those checks in a custodial bank accout (account is in your name but the parent's signature can endorse checks on your behalf to deposit as well as sign withdrawal slips on your behalf to withdraw monies from it) while you were a minor... However, now that you are an adult.... Well, you can figure out the rest of what I am trying to say...

    Here's a rhetorical question: if "bobOH's parent" didn't want to give these bonds to "bobOH" and/or "bobOH's sibling", then why did they buy them in the name of "bobOH" & "bobOH's sibling" instead of just buying them in the name of "bobOH's parent" where he/she can do whatever he/she pleases with them whenever he /she wanted to.

    One reason comes to mind and that is "saving on income taxes"... (and assuming some of these are corporate bonds as opposed to munis or U. S. Govt issued) however, IIRC, the parent claims any income earned by the child until the child reaches the age of 14 yeaers old. And depending on how old you and your sibling were when these bonds were aqcuired, as to whether your parents did in fact benefit from income received fromthose bonds withoout realizing a potentially higher tax liability by placing them in a higher income bracket. I'm rambling so I'll stop.

    Lastly, assuming "bobOH" and "bobOH's sibling" are gainfully employed, and also assuming that they pay their income taxes like most americans do, if these bonds are in fact paying taxable income, in amounts which "bobOH" and "bobOH's sibling" are oblivious to, then "bobH" and "bobOH's sibling" are failing to report part of their income to the IRS and to the State taxing authority if one happens to exist in "bobOH's" state.

    1000 X 5% = $50 Paid annually per bond...

    Now you know that there are actually 20 times as many bonds as you had initially guessed... Therefore $50 per bond X 20 bonds = $1000 of taxable annual income which you are failing to report on your tax forms as part of your taxable income... Uncle Sam is gonna want his share one of these days!!!

    Good luck!

  9. #9
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Who Owns Jointly Titled Bonds

    The parents did NOT buy them, to clarify. They were given to the parents, by friends/other family, upon the childrens' births and early years, given to the parents to hold for the kids.

    Thank you so much for that very long, helpful reply - it's a bit to absorb because I don't know about any payments coming in while he had held them, rather just that he had the bonds, which were not mature, they did mature, and he still has them. Some have his name and ours, some just ours. Several were (mistakenly, one must assume!) given to a sibling, who cashed them at more (~+30% iirc) than face value - perhaps it was that in lieu of per annum pmnts?

    Well, I'll surely be back w/ some more questions, but given the information you've (extremely generously) provided me with, I need to print this / show to the siblings / parents/family who think we're (siblings/myself) are being..toyed with.. on, I'm sure I'll be back w/ some more q's, because I think this really could end up as a "we're SURE he has many $1,000's worth of assets for the children, in their name, but is not willing to admit it / say who the issuing bonder was" situation, which'll really be a problem, given that the big$$ bonds were gifted to myself/siblings before he died (can't believe how badly $$ can divide people, this is becoming the worst scenario imaginable )
    /rant
    //THANKS again for all the valuable information, short of this site I guess I'd be paying by the hour You guys (this is just new username, can't recall old p.word ) rule!!

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