Personal Finance & Money Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who want to be financially literate. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My mom is 84 years old, and her memory is not so good. I just found a lawsuit settlement check from an attorney along with the settlement papers in her files. The check is for $24,000, drawn on an IOLA account and is dated Jan 1996. What should I do? I do recall this lawsuit, but I'm not aware at the time of what might have happened to the money.

share|improve this question
It would be nice if you posted follow ups of your findings. – Pete B. Jun 19 '14 at 19:05
In general, checks are now good for only about 6 months. (That was one of the changes the banks insisted on when they agreed to clear checks more rapidly.) You may need to contact whoever owns that account and ask that a new check be cut. – keshlam Jun 19 '14 at 21:12

I would start by taking it to your bank and asking them what they think. They can probably call the bank on the check and find out if it is still good. If they let you deposit the check, I would wait a couple of weeks before spending the money, in case the issuing bank decides that the check is no good, and your bank wants its money back.

If you are told that the check is not good anymore, the next thing I would do is to check with your state's treasurer's office and see if they have any "unclaimed money" for your mother.

share|improve this answer
You could also check with the law firm that had the account. Of course their could have been several mergers since then. – mhoran_psprep Jun 19 '14 at 12:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.