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#1532619 - 07/15/09 09:47 AM sending a large check what is the best option ?
matrass Offline


Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 1235
Loc: Pa
My wife had a change of companies who manage their stock portfolio and she needed to make a change to the new company. the choices were transfer your funds over to the new company or get a check cut to you and they send it in the mail. she filled out the paperwork to have the funds sent over to the new company handling the 401 K. needless to say we got a check for the whole amount of her previous 401 B retirement in the mail. she called the company and they said all she can do is mail the heck to them in their office ( which is a couple of states away ) I know I do not feel comfortable send a very large check in the mail, how about FedEx with shipping and signature confirmation ? can not find anything on their website to see how much it could be insured for to make sure the amount would be covered. hate to ask the clerks what we like to insure the envelope for as that may make somebody get some sticky fingers. the check is made out to the new 401K company and my wife. thanks for all for the suggestions. wish they had a local office as I would rather hand the check to an employee.

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#1532626 - 07/15/09 09:53 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: matrass]
GROUCHO MARX Offline


Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 11410
Loc: The Sandhills of NewYorkistan
Certified mail. Registered mail for the faint hearted. I don't think checks are insurable as they are easily replaced.

BTW, you can deposit the check in your own account, you have a 60 day window to roll it over into another tax deferred account.
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#1532628 - 07/15/09 09:54 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: matrass]
CivicFan Offline


Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 5153
Loc: MW
Mail it the same way it came (I am guessing a first class USPS envelope). Just get a delivery confirmation.

It's good that you are not going to cash that check. 401k should be rolled over by the administrator of the fund to the new fund. Otherwise you may get into trouble because if you cash it, it means a distribution hence penalties and taxes for the IRS - better be safe then try to sort out later with the IRS audit.

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#1532631 - 07/15/09 09:55 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: matrass]
SuperDave456 Offline


Registered: 10/29/08
Posts: 2231
Loc: Dallas, Texas
In the future use an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for large amounts.
I don't think you can insure a Check made out to someone else. If it gets lost you can have the origional company cancel it and write a new one, however, you will be losing interest during that time.
I would just overnight it with tracking and delivery confirmation with $500 of insurance. Not much, but better than nothing.
BTW, actually collecting that $500 will be an act of God if it does get lost. I have stories... it takes years to collect on "lost" items after dozens of phone calls.

Just keep in touch with the parties you are mailing and make sure they call you when they get it.

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#1532643 - 07/15/09 10:06 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: SuperDave456]
CivicFan Offline


Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 5153
Loc: MW
I am wondering if you write void on the check, will any of the banks deposit it to a crook's account? My guess is no.

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#1532649 - 07/15/09 10:11 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: matrass]
lewdwig Offline


Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 644
Loc: Southwest Michigan
I'd send it USPS Express (overnight).
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#1532655 - 07/15/09 10:22 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: lewdwig]
bepperb Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4623
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Endorse the check with the line "for deposit only" and preferably "into #" with your bank account. Then sign the third line.

I'd just mail it USPS, but if it makes you feel better you can use another courier. If someone steals your check and deposits it, it will be a big hassle to put a stop payment and get a new check sent to you, but you don't risk losing your money if that's what you're worried about. This isn't a big deal in the banking world, it's just a big deal to you because it's a large amount of your money.

Keep close tabs on everything, you don't want to pay a 10% withdrawl penalty and income tax on it, which you will unless you roll the 403b into an IRA or another 403b/401k.

Generally when you open a deposit account with Schwab/Fidelity they will send some prepaid envelopes along with deposit slips to do this...


Edited by bepperb (07/15/09 10:23 AM)
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#1532710 - 07/15/09 11:12 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: bepperb]
matrass Offline


Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 1235
Loc: Pa
Thanks for the suggestions so far everybody. my wife did not sign the check .the investment firm told her once she does, she is the owner of it and needs to take care of it. she is going to send it out overnight with delivery and signature confirmation. she set up and account online with the new firm and should be able to see if the money gets in there and or call them also to make sure. she did get a name of a person at the firm who to send it to. guess like it was said it is a big deal to me as it is a big chunk of our retirement. knew I would get some good advice here as we have some very good thinkers on the board. thanks again !

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#1532726 - 07/15/09 11:25 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: matrass]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23497
Loc: ME
^ good thinking... I know when I rolled my 401k over the recipient demanded a very specific, lengthy line in the who-to-make-the-check-out-to field.

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#1532744 - 07/15/09 11:36 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: matrass]
hate2work Offline


Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 4616
Loc: Western Washington
 Originally Posted By: matrass
Thanks for the suggestions so far everybody. my wife did not sign the check .the investment firm told her once she does, she is the owner of it and needs to take care of it. she is going to send it out overnight with delivery and signature confirmation. she set up and account online with the new firm and should be able to see if the money gets in there and or call them also to make sure. she did get a name of a person at the firm who to send it to. guess like it was said it is a big deal to me as it is a big chunk of our retirement. knew I would get some good advice here as we have some very good thinkers on the board. thanks again !


If the check is made out to her, then she needs to sign it before she sends it. She is "taking care of it" by depositing it into the other account. The new institution won't be able to accept the check unless it's signed by her.

Write "For deposit only" at the top.
Then the account number it's going into.
Then sign it.

Send it certified, signature required, with a tracking number. No need to insure it.
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#1532802 - 07/15/09 12:23 PM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: hate2work]
GhostFlame Offline


Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 406
Loc: Doylestown, Pennsylvania
I would say the best way to send that check is to PM me and we'll pass it through my account and I'll charge way less than any of those scammer Banks, UPS secured, fed ex secured or even those kind Nigerians... I'll even hand deliver it
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#1532828 - 07/15/09 12:51 PM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: GhostFlame]
dwendt44 Offline


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3571
Loc: Central Wisconsin
If it's a 401K check, she can't touch it.
That will make it taxable-with penalties.
There are special ways of transfering 401K funds that
are tax favorable. She should check with the receiving company about the proper way of transfering the funds.
Be careful here.
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#1533068 - 07/15/09 04:58 PM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: dwendt44]
GROUCHO MARX Offline


Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 11410
Loc: The Sandhills of NewYorkistan
There are no penalties if it's rolled into another similar tax deferred account within 60 days. But do with it as you wish.
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#1533646 - 07/16/09 03:26 AM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: GROUCHO MARX]
crinkles Offline


Registered: 05/28/07
Posts: 5463
Loc: australia
this stuff is all done electronically here. when i switched fund managers for my superannuation (pension) i just filled in a form and told them to take care of it. went smooth as butter, no cheques involved.
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#1536557 - 07/18/09 06:54 PM Re: sending a large check what is the best option ? [Re: crinkles]
matrass Offline


Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 1235
Loc: Pa
 Originally Posted By: crinkles
this stuff is all done electronically here. when i switched fund managers for my superannuation (pension) i just filled in a form and told them to take care of it. went smooth as butter, no cheques involved.



Yes the way you described is the was it was suppose to happen but they sent the check anyway. we sent it FedEx with delivery and signature confirmation. my wife is going to call and check online to make sure it is showing up in the new account with the new broker. according to the tracking information it got to them last Friday. at least we have proof it was delivered, lets see if the hassle is over. to the poster who wanted me to send it to them, you should have said something earlier LOL !

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