Helpful hint.

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Thought I'd pass this along. As many of you remember, mom passed ten days ago. She will be getting an insurance rebate on the house she just sold of around $500, made out to her. How to cash it? I won't be able to without much ado.

I will, however, simply go to her bank, write For Deposit Only on the back along with her account number, and put it in the deceased person's account. I won't be signing her name. It isn't necessary.

Be in no hurry to tell the bank that your loved one has passed. Things come to a screeching halt at banks when you do this.

Just thought I'd pass that along.

Before you try to access any of your deceased loved one's accounts, be sure you have the death certificate in hand and have spoken with your attorney to see if there's anything special you need to do.

Banks almost want to strip search you when you're laying claim to someone else's money, so be prepared.

12 Comments

Very helpful hint, thanks Maggie.
Another thing to add on -- the executor/trix of the estate can sign checks and other relevant things and add a PR after their name if the bank knows the payee has passed. PR means personal representative. Some places may ask to see the Letters Testimentary. If I were executrix of my mother's will and received a check, I could deposit it to her account or the estate account by signing Jessie Belle PR.
I've done that for years...deposit only with account number. It has never been questioned. I do it for our personal accounts as well.

You go in with the death certificate and your personal id and there are no problems. I've been through this three time and the financial end of it is the easiest.
My mom passed away last year. I don't think she ever got a will. I don't we even did probate. In her whole life, mom only worked at the shopping store before she met dad. After she got married, she had one child almost every year - she became a housewife. She never owned a checking or saving account. When she died, I told oldest bro if we need to put an announcement in the newspaper so that her debtors would know. He said no. The obituary is enough. I haven't even gone to the bank and let them know that she passed away. So, her name is still on dad's bank account.
Just do a mobile deposit with your cell phone. Has to be signed in usual fashion.
Maggie, didn't the attorney tell you, you have to open an estate account? That is where the proceeds for the sale of the house goes. Take the death certificate and the Will to the bank, they will help you.
Was the house not left to someone in a will? If so, the house can go through probate and pass to the heir. Then the money doesn't need to go into an estate account. Any money that is in an account with only the decedent's name, though, needs to go into an estate account to go through probate before it can go to heirs. Before going to the bank, one needs to get an EIN for the estate. It is like a social security number for the account. It is easy to get one online. If no interest is earned on the estate money, there is no need to do a tax return. (This tidbit about the tax return is from the IRS. I was so relieved not to have to file returns on my father's estate. The lawyer told me that I would have to file forever for the EIN. The lawyer was wrong, thank goodness. If no money is earned, no return has to be filed.)
BTW, you do want to let banks know as soon as possible that a loved one has passed unless someone else can extract money from the account. The money has to go through a probate period that is usually about 6 months. Creditors can submit claims against the estate during this time. There needs to be a notice for creditors to submit claims before the end of the probate period. We had a lawyer probate the will and do all these things for us, which made it easier. I had never done these things, so would have been lost.
Maggie- what a useful thread, kinda like "What to do after Death 1.0"! kudos!

My mom is end end end stage hospice in a NH. Back in August i went to bank to see what's what after death. For her acct since I'm a signature, it can remain open& exactly like it is now. The account does not get closed. It does not have to be titled "estate of". Once her DD SS & retirement checks stop, there will be a service charge. The account needs to have some activity within a 6 month period too - otherwise it goes to state dead account list. Any activity is fine, like a $10.00 deposit. Now moms acct statements already come to me (I live in another state), so that was a good thing & I had already had spoken with trust officers in the past years so that is always a big plus in dealing with lower level bank employees. Keep those business cards!

My mom still has her home. For homeowners insurance ,policy will have to be retitled "estate of" & they will want something that shows I am executrix. Can be copy of will or email from probate attorney. There will need to be an unoccupied rider attached with a small premium on this (maybe $75) also. policy is good till probate or other title transfer (a muniment) is done & filed @ courthouse.

I imagine that what is done is really interdependent on your state laws. Moms in TX and TX has a 4 year window for probate & also has small estates affidavit & also muniment of title allowed to settle an estate. For us which approach on the home will be done will be dependent on how MERP runs as there will be exemption, exclusions & hardship filed as allowed by TX Administrative Code against MERP claim. I'm doing the legwork on this & bringing in probate attorney if we need to go hardball or do appeals with MERP. I've been executrix twice before & pretty comfortable in a courthouse so hopefully this is a workable plan. ROTFLAMO. Once that starts streaming, I'm going to a series post on my MERP experience as a story on this site.



If my mother passed and we have a joint checking account and I am expecting her tax return to be coming in the form of a paper check can I sign for deposit only and then is it legal for me to transfer those funds to my account. We have internet banking linked together so I am able to make transfers from her account to mine online.

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