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How Do I Deposit a Check Payable to a Trust?

I am one of two trustees for a family trust. I've received a check payable to the trust, to me, and to my brother (the co-trustee). Can I deposit the check to my personal account? The check is made payable like this: Doe Family IRVLVGTR, Jane Doe TTEE Joe Smith TTEE. What is the proper endorsement?


Checks payable to trusts can be confusing, often because of the way payees are listed, but you should not try to deposit the check to a personal account. There is really only one payee of the check if it's drawn in the way you've described -- the family trust. The addition of the trustees' names only serves to name persons that the person drawing the check believes represent the trust.

The check should be deposited to an account in the name of the Family Irrevocable Living Trust. Then, if either you or your brother is due money from the trust, a payment from the trust's account would be appropriate. You will find that a bank will not look favorably on an attempt to deposit the check to a personal account of either of the trustees.

Published on 10/31/06