31 CFR § 363.44 - What happens when a TreasuryDirect ® account owner dies and the estate is entitled to securities held in the account?

§ 363.44 What happens when a TreasuryDirect ® account owner dies and the estate is entitled to securities held in the account?

(a)Estate is being administered. For an estate that is being administered, the legal representative of the estate must open a TreasuryDirect account in the name of the estate in order to conduct transactions. The legal representative of the estate may then conduct any transactions that are available to an individual account owner. We will require appropriate proof of appointment for the legal representative of the estate. 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 of securities, if the securities are eligible for redemption, or may transfer the securities to the TreasuryDirect accounts of the persons entitled, if the securities are eligible for transfer. We will require a certified copy of the court-approved final accounting for the estate, the court's decree of distribution, or other appropriate evidence. If payment is requested, we will require ACH instructions to process the request.

(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 of securities, if the securities are eligible for redemption, or may transfer the securities to or on behalf of the persons entitled by the law of the jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the date of death, if the securities are eligible for transfer. We will require appropriate evidence. If payment is requested, we will require ACH instructions to process the request.

(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 transfer a decedent's securities. The voluntary representative procedures are for the convenience of the Department; entitlement to the decedent's securities 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 that are eligible for redemption. Payment may be made to the voluntary representative on behalf of or directly to the persons entitled by the law of the jurisdiction in which the decedent was domiciled at the date of death;

(ii)Transfer the decedent's securities 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 laws of the decedent's domicile 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 securities are to or on behalf of 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 securities. Upon payment or transfer of the securities to 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.

(5)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 of the amount of the debt, providing the debt has not been barred by applicable local law.

[70 FR 57435, Sept. 30, 2005, as amended at 70 FR 57443, Sept. 30, 2005; 74 FR 19419, Apr. 29, 2009]