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Endorsing a Check Over to Someone Else

I have a check that is made out to me, but I would like to endorse it and then have another individual deposit it directly into his account. How can this be done? The check should have been made out to the other individual and not me. We live in different states. Can I write on the back of the check--"pay to the order of?" How do I sign over a check to someone else without being present?

The proper way to make the check that is currently payable to you, payable to someone else, is to apply a restrictive endorsement. On the back of the check, you should write "Pay to the order of _______________" and then sign your name below. That will make the item payable to the person you designate and that person will then need to endorse it or deposit it into his/her account.

It's possible that the party to whom you endorse the check may have difficulty cashing the item, but if he/she has a longstanding good relationship with a financial institution, that shouldn't be a problem. Your other options would be for you to endorse the check, get cash for it after it clears and then send a check of your own or a cashier's check to the person you want to receive the funds, or you could ask the drawer of the check to take back the original check and issue a new one that is made payable in the correct manner.

Published on 3/26/07