How do I go about cashing payroll checks left to me after my father deceased? I am the only living dependent. His assets do not exceed the amount to open an estate.
Sounds like you have a small and simple estate to deal with. If the only asset is an uncashed paycheck you might be able to handle this by contacting the clerk of whatever local court addresses probate matters. This court is usually called Surrogate's Court, Probate Court or by a similar name (differrent names are used in different areas). When you call inquire about a small probate proceeding. Most counties provide for a simple and inexpensive procedure for small estates. Going through this procedure should not require an attorney or much cost. You will then be given the appropriate document (in many areas its called Letters Administration since it sounds that your father passed away without a will). You can use that to open an estate bank account, deposit his check, and then pay it to yourself closing the estate.
You should also search to be sure that there are no other assets. Perhaps your father had a bank account, personal property, etc. If he had paid for insurance or other items there may be refunds possible (e.g. pre-paid insurance on an apartment rental that is not needed).
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