How to cash a check from insurance made out to estate of my deceased husband?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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How to cash a check from insurance made out to estate of my deceased husband?

He is still on joint account but bank will not deposit or cash. Payee line is pay to husband’s estate; second line has both our names on it. Iam beneficiary and no Will or estate is set up.

Asked on August 24, 2011 Missouri


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  What is the insurance check for?  Is it for a claim that you made on something the two of you own?  Like your house?  Or your car? And you owned the property jointly with rights of survivorship? Then call the insurance company and explain that he has passed away and that the property has passed to you "by operation of law" meaning that it passed to you automatically upon his death and that there is no estate proceeding for him because of it and that you wish the check to be made out to you alone.  And send a copy of his death certificate.  If this is not the case then you may have to apply to the probate court for a small estate proceeding to allow you be appointed and have the power to open an estate account to cash the check.  But it seems like an awful lot to go through.  Good luck.

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