Can an Executor of an Estate Cash a Check Made Out to the Deceased?

By Diane Stevens
An executive has a fiduciary responsibility to the estate finances.

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An executor is someone appointed by probate court, or named in the will, who has the responsibility to finalize the financial responsibilities of the deceased’s estate. This may include distributing estate assets to beneficiaries, establishing a checking account to pay debts and paying those debts, collecting all debts due the deceased, selling property, providing death notification, such as to banks, and filing the estate’s final tax return.

Handling Checks Made Out to the Deceased

Part of the executor’s job is locating and managing estate assets. This may include monies owed the deceased for which a check is received. As the legal representative of the estate, the executor has the right to endorse the check. Typically, these checks are not cashed but instead are deposited into the estate’s checking account and become part of the pool of cash used to pay beneficiaries and debts.

About the Author

Diane Stevens' professional experience started in 1970 with a computer programming position. Beginning in 1985, running her own business gave her extensive experience in personal and business finance. Her writing appears on Orbitz's Travel Blog and other websites. Stevens holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from the State University of New York at Albany.

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