Refund checks for a grandma who passed away. As executor, how do I cash them? - AgingCare.com

Refund checks for a grandma who passed away. As executor, how do I cash them?

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My grandma passed away and left me the executor of her estate. She has received several refund checks in her name since her passing. How do I cash them? My dad closed out her bank account a few days after she passed so there isn't an account in her name.

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To me just what to do very much is interdependent on the amount of the checks and if there’s other assets of the estate that warrant opening probate or doing an affidavit of heirship or however else your states laws allow for asset transfer after death.

If the checks are smallish, like $78.90 from a utility co and $345.67 from a overpayment to health provider type of checks, it’s not going to be worth the time to deal with probate court and it’s options. If that’s what your facing you might want to google how your state deals with “Unclaimed Funds”. Most tend to have it so the $ goes to the state and has to sit or “cure” for a period of time (maybe 3 years) before it can be paid by the state to others. You or Sis might be able to get the $ when it goes to the state later on and into unclaimed. Like for my state - Louisiana- a few years back & post Hur. Katrina, our new Sec of Treasury did a series of unclaimed funds payoff events at malls throughout the state. With a huge printed list of names and amounts in the “newspaper of record” throughout the state & TV/radio spots touting the payoff days program. State coffers had checks from all sorts of payouts & due to Katrina lots more than usual as there was dead mail box stuff throughout the coastline & lower parishes. For our area it was a Lakeside Mall out in Metairie in adjacent Jefferson Parish. The lines were out the doors with folks from every demographic. You had to have some sort of documentation to show who you were and relationship or heirship to & the state had a list of what was acceptable for this. And it was not super rigorous documentation. State was issuing checks right and left and getting $ back to families. All states have a unclaimed funds system.
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Reply to igloo572
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If she does not owe any debts, it should not be a problem. All the account would be needed for, then would be to deposit checks made out to her Estate.
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Reply to shad250
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Probably not. It would be better if you at least registered the will with the Registrar of Wills for your county. In my state, it is a very easy process and doesn't require any complicated probate process.
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Reply to AlfredR
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Thank you all so much for your help and kind words. My dad, in a haste, went and closed out her bank account a few days after she passed. This is one of the reasons I'm her executor because my dad isn't all that great with handling these types of situations.
The estate is not and was not probated through the courts (I did get legal advice about this part) so I'm wondering if I take the Will and a copy of her death certificate to the bank if ill be able to open an account as her executor in her name?
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Reply to monkeysxtwo
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Monkeysxtwo. I'm so sorry for your loss. To add to what other members have mentioned and may not know, contact those who have sent the checks, sending a copy of the check and the death certificate. The reason for this, the checks will have to be cancelled and new ones made out to the Estate of (your Grandma's name) .

The bank/credit union will not accept or cash checks made out to her, since she is now deceased.
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Reply to shad250
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Monkeysxtwo, usually what is done is Grandmother's bank account would be renamed "Estate of _____________", thus any checks would be deposited in that account, and any bills would be paid from that account.

Did your Dad give you any reason why he closed his Mom's account? What did he do with the money that was in the account, if any?

Did Grandmother's Will go into Probate, depending on the amount of assets? If yes, then nothing can be closed until Probate is finished. And that can takes months.

My own Mom passed in 2015, and a couple months ago I got a refund check. Oh dear, Mom's account had been closed since 2017. The check was so small it just wasn't worth my time and stress to see what could be done.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Monkey, I'm sorry for the loss of your grandmother. It's tough to be faced right away with the legal aspects, isn't it? Do take time out for yourself to grieve as you handle your grandmother's estate.

So your father and your GM were both signatories on the account, but you're the Executrix? I assume she and you didn't have any joint accounts together?

Have you filed her Will in Probate yet? You'll need to get Letters Testamentary, go to a bank (with her Death Certificate as well) and open an account.

If you don't have the Death Certificates, the funeral parlor manager can get those for you.

I'm more familiar with Trust management, so there may be other requirements.

There are a lot of experienced people here who can offer better suggestions.

It might not be a bad idea to ask someone in the Probate Court clerk's office to give you any informational pamphlets available for Executor/trix duties so you can get a good outline of what will be expected of you.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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If you haven't already done so, you need to take her will to the county courthouse (or other Register of Wills) and have it registered or probated. At that time, you will be given a legal document called a "Short Certificate" authorizing you to act on behalf of the estate (get several copies if there are several accounts). You can use that document to open a bank account in the name of the estate, with you as executor. You can deposit the refund checks into that account.
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