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Do your Premium Bonds die with you?

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There are 1.5 million unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth nearly £60m waiting to be collected - and numerous reasons why this cash lies untouched.

For example, someone may have lost their paperwork, or they were given the bonds as a child and don’t even know about them. But there’s also the possibility that some of these winners have passed away.

So, what happens to Premium Bonds when the bondholder dies?

If the death has been registered with NS&I, the Premium Bond is kept in the prize draw for a further 12 months from the date of death and the executors of the estate are eligible to win. After 12 months, the bond is withdrawn from the prize fund and has to be cashed in. The bonds are non-transferable.

If the death isn’t registered with NS&I, the bond stays in the prize draw but the estate is only eligible to claim prizes won in the 12 months after the date of the holder’s death. So, if you have a winning Premium Bond for this month but the holder passed away over a year ago, you won’t be eligible to claim the prize. In this case, the next bond holder down gets bumped up and can claim the prize. ERNIE – which generates numbers at random – draws more winners than prizes.

Family members or executors of estates can use the NS&I tracing service to see if a deceased person had any Premium Bonds.

NS&I confirmed it is not part of the new online Death Notification Service, which allows bereaved to notify a number of financial service providers about a loved one passing away by filling in one form, so they’ll have to inform NS&I directly.

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