When getting a cashier's check from the bank, does the payee need to be specified at the time the check is issued at the bank or can it be left blank and filled in later?
Banks do not issue incomplete cashier's checks. You have to know and name the payee when you purchase one.
If you need to have the flexibility of identifying the payee after you purchase a check, you can either buy a personal money order, or buy a cashier's check payable to yourself, to be endorsed over to someone else later. The money order route is the more flexible of the two, but there is a downside in the fact that many money order issuers limit the amounts for which money orders can be purchased. If you're trying to pay someone $30,000, for example, having to do so with twelve $2,500 money orders can be pretty cumbersome (and expensive).
A cashier's check payable to yourself allows you to use just one check for larger amounts, but it also has a downside risk. Many banks won't accept a check that's been endorsed over to their depositor (they refer to them as "third party" checks).
Published on BankingQuestions.com 8/02/07
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