When someone dies, putting a complete stop to his financial world becomes nearly impossible. A last Social Security check may go out the day before the person dies. A stock dividend may not be processed or an interest payment may be issued. In some cases, you may be able to cash the check, but this often depends on the bank you ask. In many cases you will need to return the check and ask the sender to reissue it, payable to the estate.
Take the check to the bank where the deceased maintained current accounts or the bank holding the estate accounts.
Explain to the bank teller or customer service representative that you are the executor or trustee for the estate of the deceased. Provide the death certificate and all supporting documentation stating you are the authorised executor or trustee for the estate. Probate courts can issue a Letter of Administration, stating who the executor is.
Endorse the check based on your title if the bank agrees to cash it. For example, write the deceased person's name on the first line followed by your signature on the second line with your title such as "Executor for the Estate of Jon Jay."
Some banks will only deposit a check into an estate or deceased person's account if probate orders or trust documents do not state that funds can be released. Speak with the branch manager if an immediate liquidity exists. If the bank is unwilling to cash or deposit the check, you need to notify the check issuer and request a new check sent to the estate of the deceased person. Provide the issuer with the death certificate and any supporting documentation required.