Is "signing a check over" to someone else still a thing?
November 13, 2022 5:43 PM   Subscribe

My minor child received a (paper) check from the settling of a will (not huge), but she doesn't yet have a bank account - can she sign the check over to me, or is that a thing of the past? I haven't dealt with terrestrial banking in a minute, so have no clue. She is old enough to sign her name. Thanks! (Support Metafilter - go donate! See top of page.)
posted by tristeza to Work & Money (9 answers total)
My family still signs checks over.
posted by NotLost at 5:48 PM on November 13, 2022

By endorsing a check, you’re actually doing a “blank endorsement” and anyone can deposit the check. It doesn’t have to be you.

You can also put a restrictive endorsement like “for deposit at xyz bank only”. you can also write pay to the order of xyz.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 5:56 PM on November 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

You should call your bank, or wherever you intend to deposit or cash the check, and ask them -- their policies are what matters.
posted by amtho at 6:25 PM on November 13, 2022 [11 favorites]

You could also just open a joint account with her. Many(most?) banks and credit unions have kids banking programs, or at least let parents set up accounts for their minor children.
posted by rockindata at 6:31 PM on November 13, 2022 [4 favorites]

You should call your bank, or wherever you intend to deposit or cash the check, and ask them -- their policies are what matters.

Agree. Banking today isn't like the 1980s when all banks followed the same rules. I'd go into my bank with my minor child, to the teller, with the check, and ask. If the teller says "yes" then the child signs over the check to you in front of the teller and you have the teller deposit it into your account. If the teller says "no" then you ask what's the best way to accomplish the same purpose.

Don't have the child sign the check over to you until you know. Because once it's done it can't be undone.
posted by mono blanco at 6:42 PM on November 13, 2022 [16 favorites]

You write "Pay to the order of tristeza" and she signs below it, and then you write "For deposit only" and sign it yourself. And then just do an e-deposit via your bank's app.

But as others have said, this is the perfect excuse to open a bank account for her. Depending on your bank/credit union, you may fine that they already have an easy kid account setup which will allow it to be her account under your umbrella, so you can supervise, receive statements, etc. In many cases, those kinds of accounts will automatically change over to kid-owned once they hit 18. In our case, I told my kid he could absolutely take control of his account at 18, or, if he preferred, he could keep it under my umbrella and I'd watch over it, make sure he wasn't overdrafting, etc. He's chosen that route and I think it helps with the transition to his (slowly) increasing fiscal responsibility.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:43 PM on November 13, 2022 [6 favorites]

My bank told me to sign the check (even though it's made out to my kid) & then write "parent of minor" below my signature. You definitely want to check with your bank to find out their procedure before anyone signs it, so that you don't mess up & have to get the check reissued.
posted by belladonna at 7:50 AM on November 14, 2022

Definitely call ahead.

The small bank my wife used to work at would not accept checks like this. And they would only cash checks where one of the names on the check had an account there (either payee or account holder).
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:25 AM on November 14, 2022

My bank wouldn't let me do this with my kid with a check from my dad (even though my dad and I have the same last name). I don't know if they are supposed to and it was breaking the rules or laws or regulations or whatever, but it turned out to be easier to have my dad write another check to me since kid didn't have a bank account at the time.

All of this is to say: first call your bank and see if they'll accept this check.

And if not: see if issuing bank will just cash the check with both of you there.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:32 PM on November 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

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