Can I cash a check made out to the estate of my late mother if my name is not on it?

UPDATED: Feb 7, 2015

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Can I cash a check made out to the estate of my late mother if my name is not on it?

it is for 1200 dollars

Asked on February 7, 2015 under Estate Planning, Iowa


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If probate has been opened, then you probably only need to bring a copy of your mother's death certificate and a copy of the "letters testamentary ( i.e. proof that you are the executor or personal representaive of your mother's estate). If probate has not been opened, then you will need to do so. However, if the estate is small enough, you may only need to file a small estate affidavit (or her state's equivalent); this is a simplified procedure that does not requite a full probate process.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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