Chicago, IL asked in Estate Planning for Illinois

Q: I recieved a check made out to my deceased brother. Can I cash it by signing it in his name and undersigning it in mine?

I am his brother. Also the executor of his will and the only person named in his will.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Wilmette, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Typically a bank will not accept that. Signing your brother's name is a forgery. Acting as though your brother has signed the check over to you is a fraud. More important is from whom or where is the check? Does your deceased brother deserve the money? If you take the money, and it turns out that the payment was made in error, you will be required to repay it.

As to what you should do - there are too many variables and unknowns to properly answer that.

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