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Depositing Checks for a Minor


jq26
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We had a 1yr old birthday party for my son this past weekend. Elmo made a guest appearance. He horrified the children and in doing so entertained all the adults. Quite a scene!

In any case, in the age of 529 plans it is no surprise we received a bunch of personal checks as gifts. They were written in my son's name. I signed the back of them and then wrote "signing on behalf of minor" and then tried to deposit them into my personal checking account. The bank had the manager come out, and warned me that they will do it this time, but in the future he has to have his won account and they will no longer allow me to deposit funds in his name into my account.

Is this typical bank policy? The point here is for me to electronically deposit them into his 529 plan as soon as the checks clear. I really don't feel like setting up an account in his name just for this purpose...

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This makes sense -

Think from their perspective - sure, you could have the same last name as him...but that doesn't make him your son. Could be your dad or brother, for all they know...y'know? They're playing the CYA game.

You might be able to add his name to your account, I don't think you have to worry too much about that particular joint account holder :-)

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It shouldn't be a problem.

Endorse it as follows:

his name printed

minor by [your name signed], parent/guardian

FOR DEPOSIT ONLY

If he can sign his name, you can also endorse it:

his name signed

your name signed, parent/guardian

FOR DEPOSIT ONLY

I think this is a case of improper training and hubris run amok from your local bank. When I worked in retail banking, tellers and branch workers received very little training and so they learned the job on the fly, yet were expected to enforce and comply with thousands of pages of policy and external regulations.

It's akin to policemen and the law. A policeman is generally the last person I would ever turn to for legal advice, yet he is the one who enforces the law.

Then again, it would also be fairly easy to appease your bank and to open up a custodial account under UTMA. Although, I'm assuming this is what the 529 is for, and would make the UTMA account somewhat redundant..

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Thanks! I see the CYA side of it but my wife recently and my parents (for me when I was a child) had no problem writing on the back of the check and then depositing minor $ into an adult's account. Essentially I just use the bank account as a conduit to get the funds to the 529 so I'm not sure I want to open an account for him.

Just thought it was a bit strange. I'll probably run into this problem twice per year- Christmas and Birthday. I suppose we'll just run 'em through my wife's bank.

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I ran into that same problem initially with my kiddos. Bank said, "We have no proof that you have any legal authority over this child." (As a note, my son and I have different last names.)

I whipped out his birth certificate and social security card and asked what more they needed.

Apparently, there biggest objection was that he was not signing his own checks. He was 8 months old.

Ever since, I take several things that constitute "forms of id" for a minor child when I do it and if I get any grief from my bank, I gladly provide them with copies of all of it.

Hell, we got money to put in my daughter's 529 prior to her birth...My grandfather-in-law made the check out to her. I showed the bank manager my ultrasound photos and asked if he wanted a letter from my doctor. They relented.

Try asking your bank what specifics it would take, including if you can add him as an authorized user on the bank accoount. You may want to change that later, but at least for the next 5 years or so, he's not really a "threat" to the money.

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It shouldn't be a problem.

Endorse it as follows:

his name printed

minor by [your name signed], parent/guardian

FOR DEPOSIT ONLY

If he can sign his name, you can also endorse it:

his name signed

your name signed, parent/guardian

FOR DEPOSIT ONLY

this is how my bank correctly handled it without any problems

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