CAN A BANK WITHHOLD CASHING A CHECKFOR SERVICES RENDERED? THE PERSONTHAT WROTE THE CHECK UNEXPECTEDLYPASSED AWAY AND THE ACCT IS FROZEN.

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CAN A BANK WITHHOLD CASHING A CHECKFOR SERVICES RENDERED? THE PERSONTHAT WROTE THE CHECK UNEXPECTEDLYPASSED AWAY AND THE ACCT IS FROZEN.

MY BROTHER OWNS A SMALL BUSINESS. HE DID SOME WORK ON THIS MAN’S HOUSE.HE RECEIVED A CHECK IN THE MAIL FOR THEFULL AMOUNT OWED WHICH WAS $2,000.THE MAN HAS SINCE PASSED AWAY. THE BANK WILL NOT CASH THE CHECK FOR MYBROTHER SAYING THE ACCOUNT IS FROZEN. WILL MY BROTHER GET THE MONEY OWED TO HIM? HE LIVES IN NY STATE.

Asked on June 5, 2009 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

M.H., Member, California Bar / M.H., Member, California Bar

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The bank can't cash the check until the decedent's estate is settled, unfortunately.  This can be a lengthy process and may take place in Probate court, if their is a will, or in Surrogate's court, if the decedent has assets and no will.  Your brother should attempt to determine in which court the estate will be resolved so that he can notify the court that the estate owes a debt to him.  In that event, he should be notified by the attorneys seeking to settle the estate of an opportunity to obtain payment.

I offer this information in an effort to allow you to better understand some general legal principals that may apply to your fact scenario.  This is not intended to substitute for a detailed consultation with an attorney.  Thus, the information above does not constitute legal advice.  


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