Whether your husband lacks a checking or savings account or simply can't deposit it himself, you may consider depositing it into your account. As long as your husband can endorse the check, you can simply have him sign the check over to you so that you're the new owner. That way, you can deposit it at your financial institution as usual. However, you'll need to know how to endorse the check properly and check your bank or credit union's policies on third-party checks.
Have Him Endorse the Back of the Check
So that you can deposit the check into your personal account, your husband should first endorse the back of the check with his name as usual. According to Huntington, he should then put "Pay to the order of" followed by your full name. For example, this might read "John Doe, pay to the order of Jane Doe." You may also need to sign your name below, so check if your bank has specific requirements.
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Deposit the Check As You Normally Would
After you've confirmed your bank will accept the signed-over check, verify whether any special requirements apply – such as needing your husband to appear in person with you. You can then consider one of these common ways to deposit checks:
- See a bank teller: You'll usually need to fill out a deposit slip and then hand the slip and check over to the teller. You may also need to show your ID.
- Use mobile check deposit: This convenient option uses a mobile app where you'll choose the deposit option, select the desired deposit bank account number or name, provide check images and details and then submit the deposit.
- Use an ATM: You'll insert your ATM or debit card, enter your PIN and follow the prompts to make a deposit into the desired bank account. You'll insert the check and confirm any necessary details. Wells Fargo says you may get a check image printout as well.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency says you get access to the first $225 of the deposited check by the next business day while the remainder should clear within two business days. However, if your bank suspects a scam or there's an issue with the associated accounts or check, there could be a delay. It's also possible the check bounces.
Joint Accounts and Adding Account Users
To make future transactions easier, you could become a joint account holder with your husband. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) says this would give both of you equal access to the account. Therefore, you could simply deposit your husband's endorsed checks without the sign-over process.
TD Bank says you could open a new joint checking account by providing the necessary documentation for both of you and making any minimum deposit required. However, you could also go with your husband to the bank and ask them to add a user to an existing bank account. But before you do either of these, know there are some personal finance pros and cons.
While a joint account would provide convenience, there are risks since your spouse could withdraw money without your permission or use it inappropriately. Creditors could also come after the funds if your spouse defaults. You can also run into future issues if you divorce or your spouse passes away.
Frequently Asked Check Questions
Here are some answers to common questions about depositing another payee's check.
Can a Husband Deposit a Wife’s Check?
As long as the wife signs the check over and the financial institution allows it, the husband can deposit the check into his account. He could also deposit the endorsed check into the couple's joint bank account. For the husband to deposit the check into his wife's account, the wife could endorse the back of the check and write "For Deposit Only" along with her account number, notes the Greater Texas Credit Union.
What if the Spouse Hasn’t Endorsed the Check?
Financial institutions usually don't allow you to deposit a check without the payee's endorsement. However, if applicable, Bank of America says a power of attorney could grant you the power to handle financial transactions, such as endorsing and depositing your spouse's checks.
Can a Wife Endorse a Husband’s Check (Or a Husband Endorse a Wife’s)?
Generally, the check's payee must endorse the check even if they personally don't deposit it. The exception is when a valid power of attorney is in place that allows someone else to endorse the check on their spouse's behalf.
What if the Payee Is Deceased?
If your husband passed away, you can't simply deposit the check into your account. Instead, Cornell Law School says you could deposit it into the estate account if you're the appointed administrator or executor. This requires endorsing the check with specialized language such as "John Doe by Jane Doe, executor of John Doe's estate." If you're not the executor, you should return the check to the issuer so that it can be properly reissued or otherwise handled.
- Cornell Law School: 31 CFR § 240.15 - Checks Issued To Deceased Payees.
- Huntington: How to Sign/Endorse a Check Over to Someone Else
- Wells Fargo: ATM Deposits
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency: I Deposited a Check. When Will My Funds Be Available / Released From the Hold?
- Bank of America: Power of Attorney
- Greater Texas Credit Union: How To Endorse & Deposit Someone Else’s Check
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Joint Accounts (12 C.F.R. § 330.9)
- TD Bank: TD Joint Bank Accounts