can I cash a check made out to my deceased father

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can I cash a check made out to my deceased father

My mother and father are were married. My
father was awarded a settlement. He died
before it was paid out. Payment was received.
He has no will but my mother did have to sign
for him to receive the settlement, but her name
is not on the check. She died before the check
was cashed but she left a will leaving me as
her beneficiary. Am I entitled to the funds or is
it left to all beneficiaries of my father?

Asked on January 21, 2018 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses.  You will need some legal help here to figure things out because more specific details are needed.  Why was your mother permitted to sign for the settlement check?  It seems to me too that it should have been made out to his estate, not to him as if he were still alive.  And that you Mother would have had to open an estate to cash the check. If he died without a Will then ALL his beneficiaries would have inherited that money, not just your Mother.  But again, knowing more here is important.  From what I can tell you stand to receive her portion and your portion under intestacy. Not all of it.  Good luck.

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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