This is a very unusual situation, but I've encountered it several times with this one particular bank that my husband and his parents have a joint checking account with. We did all his parents' finances and occasionally, when they received a check instead of direct deposit, we'd put "For Deposit Only" & the account number on the back of the check to deposit it into their joint account. The bank refused to deposit it unless whoever it was made payable to endorsed it as well. They said it was because it was made out to one person and there were others on the account that could withdraw money from the account, so endorsing it acknowledged that the payee still wanted to deposit the money, knowing others could take the money out.
Excuse me, but wasn't that the purpose of all of them going in together to set up the account and sign that they knew any one of them could withdraw money or sign the checks? That was the purpose of setting up a joint account, so they all would have access. Why do they have to endorse every check every time they want to deposit it? They've already established it's ok to allow the others access. The bank says the law requires it, but no other bank does this. If that were the case, why can I deposit checks written to my husband into our joint account (at a different bank) that I just write "for deposit only & our acct. # ?" I used to work in a bank, and the only time we had to have them endorse it was if they were getting cash back.
So here's the unusual situation: My father-in-law, who received VA benefits, died in December. His wife qualified to receive his last benefit check for the month after his death. Instead of it being direct deposited into their account, she had to apply to the VA to receive it. She was going to use it for his funeral costs. But she died in February! The VA sent her a check, payable to her, in March. I asked the bank if my husband could deposit the check into their account (all 3 were still on the account) if he put for deposit only. After all, it was money that was rightly owed to her and was meant to help pay for their funerals. Her check > Her account, right? They said no, not without her endorsement.
Please tell me there's a way around this. They had no other assets, so no lawyer was used to settle their estate. My husband would have been the executor if we had. He had been their Power of Attorney, but the bank said that ended with their deaths. I hate dealing with the VA, and the local office said they aren't sure they would reissue the check to her son if she had died... even if she had been alive when she should have gotten it, and it rightly belonged in her account.