While children often receive wrapped presents from their parents on their birthdays and during the holidays, out-of-town relatives might prefer to send a check. This is more cost efficient than paying the high shipping prices associated with mailing a gift. Of course, your family member might write the check in the name of your minor child, who might not even be able to sign his or her name yet. Fortunately, there are several ways you can deposit a check made out to your child.
Use a Parent's Bank Account
Parents are allowed to deposit their children's checks into their own personal bank accounts. To do this, parents must first print their child's name on the back of the check and then write the word "minor" in parentheses. You also could use a hyphen instead of parentheses. Next, the parent must print his or her name directly under the child's name with the word "parent" in parentheses or after a hyphen. Finally, the parent must sign his or her name under the printed name and add the bank account number for deposit. If you aren't the child's parent, but the child is entrusted into your care, you can write "guardian" in place of "parent."
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The bank also might require parents and guardians to fill out a deposit slip to go along with the check. This will include the parent's name, account number, date, check number, check amount and total deposit amount. The deposit slip must be given to the teller along with the check for the deposit to be completed.
Obtain a Minor's Account
Parents also have the option of opening a bank account for their minor children so that they can take part in depositing their own checks. Some banks offer savings accounts designed for minors that are jointly owned by both parent and child, while others provide the option of a custodial account. With the custodial account, minors can make deposits, but they will not have access to those funds until after the age of 18.
No matter which account you choose to set up for your child, the method of depositing a check is the same. The child can sign the back of the check and write his or her account number. This is an excellent way for minors to begin learning how to save money. Some banks might require a parent to sign under their child's name writing "Parent of Minor" next to their signature. Together the parent and child also can fill out the deposit slip and take it to the teller to complete the transaction.
Don't Forget Mobile Deposits
Most banks now offer mobile apps that you can download to make your deposit, so you don't have to drive to the bank. After a parent, and the minor child, if appropriate, fills out the back of the check with their signatures and account number as explained above, they simply open the app and snap photos of the front and back of the check. Next, the parent will have the opportunity to review the details before tapping the "Make Deposit" button.