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Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 300
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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This check is for $400. and is a rebate of overpaid health

Customer Question

This check is for $400. and is a rebate of overpaid health insurance premiums. He left a will in which I am named as executor.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 2 months ago.

Dear Executor,

What is your question regarding this check of 400?


Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Can I deposit this check into our joint checking account?
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 2 months ago.

Dear Executor,

1) To whom is the check titled?

2) To what joint account you are referring? Do you have a joint account with this person who passed away or with someone else?



Customer: replied 2 months ago.
1. Check is titled: Estate of My husband's name
2. The joint checking account of my (deceased) husband and myself
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 2 months ago.

Dear Executor,

1) In terms of right to the money, since you were husband and wife, the right to money, when the amount is relatively small, there should not be an issue.

2) As to the check itself, it is common for insurance companies to issue checks to estate. But it is a lot of deal for a bank to accept and process the check. I will explain as follows.

a) Estate of a person is a different entity. From the bank or a financial institute's perspective, this entity needs a tax identification number to open a new account under this estate's name. Because estate is an entity, like a corporation and not a person, usually such a check needs to be directly deposited into an account with that name. You cannot take the check and accept it as designated to you personally.

b) Your account was joint with your husband. Once you present this check to the bank, they may immediately take his name off the account. Depending on the arrangement on the account, they will decide whether you are entitled to the rest of the money. Usually, it is not an issue here.

c) I am not sure Currency Exchange or Walmart or some financial institute you are familiar with will or will not let you sign on the back for the estate and for you and cash it. Supposedly, they should not and will not be willing to take and cash this check. This check needs to be deposited into an account titled Estate of your husband's name.

3) Because you are the executor of the will, there must be some money relatively large, or at least not small, to be handled, it would be best to open an estate account. It is not very hard to do. We can apply for an EIN number for the estate through the IRS website. Then, you can use the paper work to go to bank to open the account.

4) However, I would recommend you find a professional person to help you with the process.

Please feel free to follow up with further questions. Otherwise, I am ready to be evaluated by you for your satisfaction with my answer to your question.


Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 2 months ago.

Dear Overseas Helper,

Even if you get a POA, if the POA is authorized in a different country, I am not sure it will work in the United States.

In terms of how other seniors get the help, usually, for seniors without relatives or friends, some type of social workers usually help them. They are free of charge. Social workers can be from the Department of Senior Services or Family Services. All hospitals have social workers to help in and out of hospital care patients.

If she is still overseas with you, can she sit besides you to do this with her?

If you have a power of attorney from a foreign country, with a foreign address and telephone number, and she is here, I am not sure it will work. The first thing of applying for medicare and medicaid is for the government to prevent fraud, fraud to the senior and fraud to the government. So, more likely than not, an overseas person trying to apply medicare or medicaid for a senior in the U.S. may not work.

You may want to contact and call the Department of Aging and/or Senior Services to ask them what to do in general. I would suggest at this point, do not give them her specific information.

Because she has Alzheimers, depending on how severe it is, she may not have been declared incompetent. So, she is still the person making the decision. Someone has made the decision for her to go to a senior citizen home, I believe the senior citizen home readily has case workers to process the medicare and medicaid applications. That is one of the biggest issue for them. Without definitely financial resources of income, they would not have accepted the patient.

I would say that at this point applying for medicare or medicaid should not be your responsibility. You may want to contact the particular senior citizen home. They have case workers working on matters as such. And they do this process day in and out and are familiar with the process and senior's need.


Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

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