What to do if my mother died with no Will andI don’t know what to do with her security deposit refund check?

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What to do if my mother died with no Will andI don’t know what to do with her security deposit refund check?

My mother died with no Will. I paid for everything including the funeral. She has since received a refund check for the security deposit on her apartment which came as follows, “TO THE ESTATE OF ANNIE X IN C/O TAMMY Y (me)”. That is the only piece of business left. What do I do about it? My mom has 3 children – 2 sons and 1 daughter (me).

Asked on April 7, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The check was properly written by the holder of the security deposit. Unfortunately, you can not cash it unless you open an estate account.  What I would suggest that you do is to go to the Probate Court in the county in which your Mother resided at the time of her death and speak with the court clerk on the matter here.  The court clerks can not give you any legal advice but they can explain the procedure for a small estate and/or a small estate affidavit - if your state permits such a thing - to allow you to be able to open an account to deposit the funds and endorse the rewritten check.  You would need to be the Personal Representative of the estate.  Now, technically the estate was responsible for the funeral costs and that is a debt of the estate that is to be paid before any other funds are distributed.  So if it matters here to you you should be paid first before the security is divided.  Good luck.


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