The Hive Law

Can A Power Of Attorney Write Checks After Death?

Can Power Of Attorney Write Checks After Death - Can A Power Of Attorney Cash A Check After Death - Can Power Of Attorney Sign Checks After Death

Can a power of attorney write a check after death for someone?

This article will tell you if it’s legal.

And it will tell you how to write checks after someone’s death.

Let’s dig in.

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Can Power Of Attorney Write Checks After Death?

No, a power of attorney cannot write checks after the death of someone.

After the principal’s death, the power of attorney document is voided.

When the person dies, the power of attorney no longer has the legal authority to:

  • access bank accounts at financial institutions
  • write checks for a deceased person
  • file IRS tax returns for the decedent
  • cash any social security checks
  • cash any checks from payable on death life insurance policies
  • access safe deposit boxes
  • access or manage checking accounts
  • write checks for health care bills and debts

How Can A Power Of Attorney Write Checks After Death?

The only way that a power of attorney can write checks after death is if:

  • they have joint checking accounts with the deceased person
  • they are a surviving spouse with joint accounts with rights of survivorship
  • the decedent named them the executor of the estate in the last will
  • they are a joint owner in a business (i.e., real estate businesses)
  • the probate courts have tasked them with the estate administration

Let’s say you were the power of attorney (POA) and you need to write checks after their death.

The checking accounts now belong to the estate after the principal’s death.

You will to open probate for the your loved one to be able to write checks.

To do so, you need to start the probate process by:

  • filing a death certificate and the will at the local probate courts
  • petition the probate courts to start the probate process
  • get appointed as the personal representative of the estate
  • pay off debts to the estate (i.e., credit cards, health care bills, etc.)
  • distribute the remaining funds to the beneficiaries

Let’s say the deceased person did not do estate planning or have a living will.

Then you request to be the estate administrator.

Then you can write checks after the death of the loved one or family member.

To be able to write checks after the death of someone, you should be:

  • obtaining a copy of the death certificate
  • taking it to the deceased person’s financial Institution
  • having them write you a check to the estate
  • opening an estate account for the probate process
  • depositing the estate funds into the estate account

After you do this, you can write checks on behalf of the deceased person’s estate.

Can A Power Of Attorney Cash A Check After Death

No, a power of attorney cannot cash a check after death.

A POA automatically becomes voided when someone dies.

Can Power Of Attorney Sign Checks After Death

No, a power of attorney cannot sign checks after death.

FAQs About A Power Of Attorney Writing Checks After A Decedent’s Death

These are questions we get about finances after someone’s death. 

My Deceased Husband Received A Check In The Mail

Let’s say your deceased husband received a check in the mail.

The bank will not allow you to deposit that check (even if you have a joint account).

The money will have to get deposited into an estate account by the executor.

If you tried to deposit the money, the financial institution would either:

  • put the funds on hold
  • deny your request to deposit your deceased husband’s check

You can only deposit a check your deceased husband receive if you’re the executor.

Related: Living Will And Durable Power Of Attorney

How To Cash A Check Of A Deceased Spouse

You can cash the check of a deceased spouse like you would any other check.

The check is became legal as soon as they wrote the check.

Look out to see if they check says something like “void after 90 days.”

And make sure you’re still in the time limit to cash the check from a deceased spouse.

How To Cash A Dead Person’s Check

Let’s say you need to cash a dead person’s check

The bank will not allow you to deposit that check (even if you have a joint account).

The money will have to get deposited into an estate account by the executor.

If you tried to deposit the money, the financial institution would either:

  • put the funds on hold
  • deny your request to deposit the deceased person’s check

You can only cash a deceased person’s check if you’re the executor.

Still Wondering If A POA Can Write Checks After Death?

This article is not legal advice.

You should reach out to a local law firm that handles:

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