What to do if a final paycheck was issued to someone who has died?

UPDATED: Sep 19, 2011

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What to do if a final paycheck was issued to someone who has died?

A friend of mine received his mother’s final paycheck from her place of employment and it was issued to her. He is co-executor of her estate. What procedure must he follow to cash the check?

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for his loss.  If he is the personal representative of the estate - and as the co-executor he is - then generally under the lawsin most states he can endorse the back of the check made out to her and deposit it in the estate account. Check with the bank where the estate account is held.  They should allow it.  If they do not then he may ask the employer if they will re-issue the check payable to "the estate of so and so" instead.  Many people understand and will in fact comply.  It really all depends on  their accounting because the funds were probably issued under her social security number and the estate has its own tax id.  Good luck.

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