Q: Can a check made out to the sole trustee of a revocable living trust be cashed without a trust account?
Elderly father received check after home refi. It’s made out to him as: “Name, as trustee of the abc trust”. It cannot be reissued.
Trust is a revocable living trust. Mother and father were the grantors and only 2 trustees. Mother passed away, father is sole trustee now (successor). I am sole beneficiary. Literally no one else is involved with the trust.
We had no need for a trust bank account, because of the simplicity of our situation. Estate attorney agreed.
Father can not go to the bank to create a trust account to deposit this check. If he contracted coronavirus, he is in several extremely high risk categories, and unlikely to survive. He is self-isolating until a vaccine is developed, and he’s not comfortable risking his life to go down to the branch, just to create an account.
Is there any possible way for my father to cash this check or deposit it into his Chase personal account without having to create a trust account? Check is void in 90 days.
A: It’s a common situation, but every bank and credit union and other financial institution has its own rules. My experience as an estate planning specialist with over 25 years in the field is to simply have your dad endorse the check on the reverse side as follows: “For deposit only”, and then to sign the check exactly the way the payee line reads, and then write in the bank name and account number of your dad’s bank individual account. That should work in most situations.
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