Father Died Intestate, Can Next of Kin Avoid Probate

Intestacy, Next of Kin and Probate

question

Is it possible for me to cash a cheque made out to my deceased father who died without a will intestate. Can this payment avoid probate?  I can show documentation that Im the next of kin.

answer

Please accept my condolences, I am especially sorry to hear of the intestacy.

The short answer is No you cannot cash the cheque.

Intestacy creates uncertainty in youe estate

You would have to ask the payer to make the cheque payable to the estate of your late father. Say for example you father was Mr. Alfred Barry Charles, the new order would have to be written in favour of The Estate of Mr. Alfred Barry Charles. You would then need some type of authority from the probate court in order to get the money.  It is not unknown for debtors to seek to shirk their responsibility simply because of the payee, but the executor had there been one, would be able to set the payer straight.

The question of the relevant dates, of your father’s death, and the issue of the payment are not discussed.  I get the feeling – quite justifiable and understandable that you are not looking to tie up this asset in the probate process but the beauty of inheritance planning is that processing the payment properly would result in the delay of a few days, the length of time it took for the cheque to clear. The fact of your father’s intestacy makes things rather tricky and time consuming for all concerned.  There is no indication of the value of your father’s estate – that not withstanding, the process of administering the estate in general, and in particular cashing this cheque would have been far easier.

The brevity of the question  limits the extent to which any advice could be proffered. But you could do worse than consult a local probate practitioner – most offer a free initial consultation.

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