It's incredibly difficult to cash a check made out to another person even if that person is your husband. Generally, banks will only cash checks for the payee shown on the face of the check, upon producing proper ID. It's easier to cash the check when you have a joint bank account. Even then, the bank will insist that your husband endorse the check to you by signing the back of the check.
Yes, If You Have a Joint Account
Many couples open a joint account to manage household expenses. With this type of account, you are both authorized signatories, which makes it easier for one person to carry out routine banking transactions on the other's behalf. Many banks will cash the check if your husband has signed it over to you using a special endorsement. Have your husband write "Pay to the order of [your name]" in the endorsement area on the back of the check and sign his name, and then take it to the bank where you hold a joint account. You'll sign your name beneath your husband's when you cash the check.
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Otherwise, It Depends on the Bank's Policy
When you have your own account, you may be able to cash a check made out to your husband or you may not. It depends on the bank's policy. Many banks will flatly refuse checks made out to a third party even if the third party is a spouse because it's a red flag for fraud. The bank has no idea who your husband is; how can they be sure the check is valid? If the bank does cash third-party checks, your husband will likely have to include a special endorsement on the back of the check. There may be additional safeguards, such as your husband coming to the bank with you and showing his ID.
Easier to Deposit the Check
It's much easier if you're planning to deposit the check rather than cash it. With a joint account, the bank will let you deposit a check made out to you, your husband or the both of you. You can just present the check, unsigned, or deposit it at an ATM, and the check will go through.
Other Options For Managing Third-Party Checks
If you're managing a lot of checks made out to your husband, perhaps because he's out of the country or too ill to do it himself, you might think about getting a general Power of Attorney for finances. This document will give you legal authority to manage money for your husband but would not take away the ability for him to cash his own checks whenever he chooses. You can set the power to expire on a fixed date or your husband could cancel it at any time. To cash a check, bring the original, signed and notarized Power of Attorney to the bank. You might have more luck getting it cashed in this instance.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Can I Cash a Check At Any Bank or Credit Union?
- First Quarter Finance: How to Sign over a Check to Someone Else
- Go Banking Rates: How to Endorse a Check
- Caring: Power of Attorney for Finances: What to Know
- TD Bank: Can I Deposit My Husband's Check If We Have a Shared Account