How to Deposit Checks of Deceased Persons

Written by michael roberts
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How to Deposit Checks of Deceased Persons
The personal banking of a deceased loved one is often overlooked by family members. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

With all the stress and emotions after losing a loved one, personal banking left behind is often the last thing family members want to deal with. It is rare for people to leave the world with all their finances in order, so family members may be left with bank accounts that must be closed or old checks that must be deposited. These tasks are normally fairly simple but become more complicated when the account owners are deceased.

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  1. 1

    Endorse the check only if you are the executor designated in the deceased's will or appointed by the court. Endorse the check with the name of the deceased followed by the executor's name and "personal representative of the estate of {Name of Deceased}."

    If you are not the estate's executor, you will not be able to endorse or deposit the check.

  2. 2

    Bring to the bank your photo identification and originals of the court documents designating you the executor of the estate. The official documents will have a raised seal, and you cannot use copies. The bank will use these documents to officially name you the executor on the account.

  3. 3

    Deposit the check only into the account of the deceased's estate. The probate process that occurs after a person's death requires that all of the deceased's assets be accounted for. Depositing a check into an account not owned by the deceased is illegal.

Tips and warnings

  • You can request that the check be reissued with your name to make depositing it easier, but the issuer is not obligated to do that.
  • Only the executor named in the deceased's will or appointed by a court can legally manage that person's banking.

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