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Two- Party Checks, One Deceased

What should I do with my two-party checks, now that the other party is deceased?


Assuming that you're referring to a joint checking account on which you are the surviving owner, make sure that your bank is aware of the death of the other owner. You may need to provide a copy of his or her death certificate to get the account records updated to reflect your sole ownership. Also be prepared to provide the bank with your Social Security number and date of birth, and bring your driver's license or other photo identification with you, in case the bank needs to update its records to complete the change of ownership.

If you will keep the account and the bank allows you to continue using the same account number, some banks would require that the old account be closed and a new one opened, ask the bank to arrange for a new supply of checks with your name and address on them. Then, if you don't have a shredder at home, bring those old checks to the bank and ask that they be shredded there.

Those old checks should be shredded even if you open a completely new account. You don't want some thief to find them and start writing bad checks with your name printed on them, even if the account is closed.

Published on BankingQuestions.com 8/18/08