Stoneboro, PA asked in Estate Planning and Banking for Pennsylvania

Q: My Aunt has written me a check emptying her checking account. What are the legalities if I deposit it in my account?

She is recently under hospice care. I am the soul beneficiary. There’s a lot involved. She’s afraid if we wait until her death I won’t have access and she doesn’t have a legal id to add me to her account.

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1 Lawyer Answer
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: We've been representing financial institutions for over two decades.

"Legal id"?

You aunt's financial institution most certainly has her signature card for her deposit account, and that's all that one needs to add another adult to her account, on a simple card available at her bank.

Legal "capacity" is always an issue, and may well be with your aunt.

We recommend that she, or you, contact her financial institution and request their form to add a signator to her deposit account, to be picked up by you. That should work, and when she signs the new card, she can either mail it to return to the financial institution or you can drop it off.

It may be that a thorough Power of Attorney is more appropriate (to better handle "alot involved").

And if she does not have a current, serviceable Will, she should most probably see to that as well.

Consult at your earliest with an experienced attorney authorized to practice in PA.

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