Ask Terry Questions Estate Executor Can’t Deposit check

Estate Executor Can’t Deposit check

By Terry Savage on February 19, 2019 | Wild Card

Dear Terry,

I’m 74 years old, live in downtown Chicago, am the Executor of my deceased wife Susan’s Will and her sole beneficiary.

Last month, I received a check from Genworth Financial in the amount of $645.52 made out to The Estate of Mrs. Susan XXXX.

My estate attorney advised that I should present Susan’s Death Certificate and deposit the check into our joint account of Susan at Chase in the Hancock Center. However, the bank’s manager,  refused to deposit the check, repeatedly citing “bank policy.”

The banker did suggest that I deposit the check in the bank’s ATM, but added that there was no guarantee that it would be accepted in that manner.

On behalf of myself and all Executors similarly situated now and in the future, what do you recommend?

Your consideration is sincerely appreciated.

Thank you.

All be$t,

James Paradiso

Terry Says

I understand your situation completely.  The bank cannot accept this deposit.  And if you deposit it in an ATM, they will catch it and delete the deposit, and return your check!

The executor MUST set up a checking account in the name of the estate if it expects to receive payments.   And if you had an attorney who filed the will for probate, the attorney should have done that for you.  If there was such a small estate that there was no probate, you have a problem.  That’s why I ALWAYS suggest that personal accounts be held in the name of a Revocable Living Trust, where the “successor trustee” would have no problem depositing the check and spending the money — once the appropriate papers are presented to the bank.

In your situation, I suggest you contact Genworth and advise them that there is no “estate” account, because there was no probate.  I am wondering if this was an account in her name — or if there was a “beneficiary” designation made for this money.  I ask because Genworth typically offers insurance policies, which typically provide for a beneficiary.  Or explain your situation to them, and perhaps they will ask for more documentation and then make out the check to you. Please let me know what happens.



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