What is the law regarding cashing the check of a deceased person?

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What is the law regarding cashing the check of a deceased person?

My father passed away. My aunt had several checks he had given her “for an emergency”. One was premade out for $500 the other bore his signature but the amount was blank. Approximately 2 months after his death she found the checks in her bible, she had forgotten they were in there. She filled out the blank one for an additional $500 and took both to her bank. She deposited both and waited for them to clear. They did as the account was not yet closed. Is what she did illegal?

Asked on August 10, 2012 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  No, it was not.  Many times people will give others they trust emergency checks so to speak, and they often pre-sign them.  But cashing them after his death was certainly not appropriate and writing one after his death for her own benefit is really dissipating estate assets.  Whomever is appointed as the PR of the estate can go after the money and should.  Good luck 


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