My husband passed away in Jan. and I recieved his last check from his employer, but I can’t cash it… what do I do?

I recieved a last check from my husbands employer after his death. The check was made out to “the estate of… ” I am listed as the beneficiery on his papers. I can’t open an accout for it and I can’t deposit it into our joint account. Is there a loophole that I can go through or what do I have to do to get this check taken care of?

Asked on July 2, 2009 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  Although I am not admitted in California I do believe that there may be a way for you to deal with this issue.  First, check with the bank and see if they will allow you to prepare any type of Affidavit as the surviving spouse or joint tenant or community property tenant in order to show that you are the only beneficiary of the estate and entitled to the money. If that does not work, California, like most states, has a small estate proceeding that may be what you need.  Go down to the Probate Court in the county in which you live and ask the clerk for information.  Please note that I suggest that you speak with a Probate lawyer in your area as there may be tax issues, etc.    

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  Although I am not admitted in California I do believe that there may be a way for you to deal with this issue.  First, check with the bank and see if they will allow you to prepare any type of Affidavit as the surviving spouse or joint tenant or community property tenant in order to show that you are the only beneficiary of the estate and entitled to the money. If that does not work, California, like most states, has a small estate proceeding that may be what you need.  Go down to the Probate Court in the county in which you live and ask the clerk for information.  Please note that I suggest that you speak with a Probate lawyer in your area as there may be tax issues, etc.    


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