Banking Basics
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Endorsing a check made out to a minor child



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The need to endorse a check for a minor is a situation most parents run into at some point. If your child receives a check, is not of age and/or has no identification card to use to cash the check at the bank themselves, then they'll need your assistance in order to gain access to their money.

Children may receive monetary gifts in the form of a check for birthdays, special celebratory religious events, holidays or a school graduation. Perhaps your child has a part-time job where he or she is paid in by check. It is common for the person writing out the check to simply write the minor child's name on the "Pay to the order of" line.

If your child receives a check made out to them and cannot cash the check alone, then there are a few ways you can approach the situation. Keep in mind, no matter which option you choose, depending on individual bank policy, chances are you will need to cash the check at the same bank you hold a personal account.

Option 1:

If your child is too young to write his or her own name and the check is made out to your child's name, what you can do is clearly print your child's name on the first line on the back of the check. On the second line sign your name directly below your child's name. On the third line, depending on the bank's policy, it is possible you will also be asked to write your account number.

Depending on individual bank policy you may need to write "minor by" or sign your name and write "for < name of child >. Once you do this, you can cash or deposit the check the same way you would when you endorse a check made out to yourself.

Option 2:

Older children who are able to correctly write their name may sign the check, but if they don't have any identification or ability to deposit in their own bank account, you likely will still need to endorse the check with your signature to cash the check and obtain your child's money. A personal account number may also be requested.  

Again, you can do the same as option 1. It is always best to ask your bank what its policy is so you can endorse the check correctly. So long as all check endorsement laws are complied with, and the proper information is on the back of the check, then banks have little reason to be inflexible. 

Option 3:

Another option is to deposit the money directly in to an account. In this case you can write "For deposit only" and then write the account number of the account you want to add the money to. Perhaps you want to start an account for your child and begin saving for a special purchase or to save money for college.

Whichever option you choose, it is always a good idea not to endorse any check until you are ready to cash or deposit it because once you sign the check, if it happens to get lost anyone else can cash it with little recourse since it was already endorsed.

Endorsing a check for a minor child is easy to do, and as long as you follow your bank's policy and procedures, you shouldn't run into any problems if you receive a check for your child made out in his or her name.

 

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