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Pay the Estate or Daughter of Deceased Customer?

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Question: 
A customer passed away and his daughter wants to close his accounts and get a cashier’s check. Does the check have to be payable to an estate?
Answer: 

If the daughter is the estate's personal representative then you should make the check payable to the estate and let her take the steps needed to disburse the funds appropriately. If you have not been contacted by an estate representative and the daughter is asking to close the account under your state's laws permitting a decedent's account under a stated amount to be paid out to a next of kin, make sure you have the required documentation and make the check payable to the daughter, but add "as next of kin to [depositor's name], deceased." If your state does not have laws providing for payments to next of kin, you should not pay the account out to anyone other than the estate and only if the estate's representative requests the account be closed and provides adequate documentation.

First published on BankersOnline.com 2/09/09

First published on 02/09/2009

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