How do I handle an insurance check for a previous claim that was issued, but never cashed, and has since expired?

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How do I handle an insurance check for a previous claim that was issued, but never cashed, and has since expired?

Parents passed away but had received an insurance settlement check for property damage to home. They never cashed check and it has now expired. Need to have it reissued as part of estate, but not sure how to go about it.

Asked on February 25, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Did you probate their estate?  Who is the Personal Representative?  If it is you then send a letter to the insurance company - or have the attorney helping you with the estate do it - enclosing the stale check and a copy of the Letters appointing you as Executor or Administrator and request that the check be reissued to the estate.  But may I ask: of who?  I mean which parent?  If they passed away at the same time was the estate opened for both of them?  If the estate is for the parent that survived the latest then you need to probably send a copy of the death certificates as well.  The insurance company will let you know the documentation that they will require if you give them a call.  Good luck.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Despite this popular misconception, business checks do not grow stale/expire.  You can contact the insurance company, explain the situation and tell them you plan on cashing the check. If the insurance company tells you there may be an issue with it, you need to explain that you found it during the check of estate assets and that you will be more than happy as executor or trustee to show the proper paperwork. Normally this should be sufficient to resolve the matter.  In practice, personal checks are the only ones that grow stale and can be difficult to cash. Business checks usually don't have this issue. 


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