what happens when a spouse who is deceased receives a check that should go into his estate account and the other spouse signs his name and takes the money?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You do not provide enough details.
Was an estate ever probated and in what state would that be in? If so, is the estate open? Who would have benefitted from the money? How much money are we talking about? How are you involved? What is your relationship to the deceased or his spouse? What did the will, if any, or the state intestacy laws say about who receives the assets?
If the person died with a will and left everything to the spouse and all the bills/debts of the estate have been paid, then maybe its not really an issue. If you would be a beneficiary under the will or intestacy laws and would have been entitled to the money and there is a decent pot of money, then there may have a problem. In such case you should see a probate attorney. The surviving spouse, if she was the executor, may be required to account for the money and pay it as per the will/intestacy laws. There may also be some criminality if the surviving spouse was not entitled to any of the money. You should see a probate lawyer in the county/state where the deceased lived at the time of his death or where an estate is or would be pending.