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I was the executor of a family member's estate starting starting 7 years ago. The estate was closed on the order of 3-4 years ago, and so the estate bank account has also been closed for that many years.

I recently received a cashier's check for $25 from one of the debtors of the estate indicating that they had originally incorrectly calculated a repossession cost and are refunding the money to the estate.

Therefore, I have a check made out to the estate of the deceased (which is closed) but no estate account against which to cash it, so I was planning on cashing the check through my personal account. Do I need to write something special on the check or some other hoop, or can I just cash it?

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  • Are you (I mean you, personally, not the estate) due the money? I would consider different actions depending on if I got to keep the money or if it was my job as executor to get the money properly accounted for and distributed to multiple people as inheritors of the estate.
    – spuck
    Nov 8, 2021 at 15:22
  • @spuck Fair question. Yes, I was also the inheritor of the estate. Nov 8, 2021 at 15:40

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If the money is coming to you and there isn't a paper trail that may need defending later to other inheritors of the estate, I would endorse the check like you did while the estate was active and just cash it.

Being a cashiers check it may get more scrutiny, so bringing a copy of the court order or other paperwork you might still have showing you are the executor of the estate may be a good idea. I might forget to volunteer that the estate was closed a few years before.

These days, I'm surprised when anyone at a bank even looks at a check before accepting it-- especially for $25.

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  • I gave this a shot, and the bank did not accept the check because it was not made out to me. Oh well. Feb 15 at 19:12
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Generally for a third party check the endorsement process would be:

Third party (who the check was made out to) signs the back of the check, and writes "Pay to the Order of" and your name.

Then you sign your name (endorse it) as usual.

With it being related to an estate, I'm not sure what the protocol is, but it seems like there would be a way forward.

The simpler solution would be to contact the party that sent the check, and see if they would be willing to void that check and send you a new one, made out to you. They'd probably want the original check back in that case.

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