What to do regarding a refund for deceased customer?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What to do regarding a refund for deceased customer?

We check the obituaries on a regular basis to see if any of our clients have passed so that we can be respectful of their family during a time of grief and not bother them with business requests. That being said, when a client of ours has a refund balance on their account and we would like to get it to their estate, what is the best method to do so? We would normally just send a refund in that person’s name and are happy to send it to that person’s spouse or child but we want to make sure of the legalities of it so we are not stepping on toes. We are not talking about a lot of money but it belongs to them not us and we want them to have it.

Asked on November 9, 2018 under Business Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Send a letter to the person's address, which will presumbly be forwarded to or picked up by the executor or personal represenative. State that you have a refund due the deceased and that if the executor or personal representative will forward you a copy of his/her court authority to act in that capacity (sometimes called "letters testamentary"), you will send a check for the refund amount made payable to "Estate of [Deceased's Name]."

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