If we just received a back dividend check made out to my mom’s estate, how can we cash it?

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If we just received a back dividend check made out to my mom’s estate, how can we cash it?

My mom died 4 years ago. The bank will not cash it ($60), stating they have to have probate paperwork. We didn’t go through probate because the assets were so small. Everything was already in a joint account with my name. The insurance company will not send a check to me, even though I can provide death certificate and copy of will, naming me as executor. Neither will budge. Other options?

Asked on March 8, 2011 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ask the bank if they will accept an affidavit indicting that there was no estate to probate and who the next of kin were.  Do not mention the Will as people who are not really familiar with the law think that you have to probate a Will when in reality you do not if there is no estate or if the estate will be divided in the same manner under the intestacy laws or if the beneficiaries agree to it.  I know: most attorneys will jump and scream at my saying this but you have to look at the entire estate and do what is best for the estate under the circumstances.  If there were really no assets then there is no estate to probate even if there is a Will.  So ask about the affidavit.  Good luck.


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