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Post Info TOPIC: Signing for your Spouse - allowed or not?
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Wait, was I supposed to care?

Posts: 3421
Date: Jan 17, 2011
Signing for your Spouse - allowed or not?
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Deputy says that it is perfectly legal to sign for your Spouse.  Anytime.  Any place.  For anything.

I say it is not allowed.  As a financial professional, I cannot accept a signature that is not by the actual person unless I have a Power of Attorney on file.  If I were to knowingly allow a spouse to sign, I can get in BIG trouble, including termination (and I believe penalties for violating federal statutes).  Deputy says that is just my company's rule, and nothing illegal about it.

Can anyone clear this up?  I know it is generally accepted that spouses sign for each other - but is in really legal?  (in the absence of an in-force Power of Attorney)

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Always misinterpret when you can

Posts: 21494
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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You can endorse the back of a check, for deposit to the account of (spouse) and deposit it into spouse's account, but that's not signing spouse's name. If he signs your name to a check made out to you, and deposits it into an account that's only in his name, he can go to jail.

If you sign spouse's name on a tax return, and spouse objects later, there can be big consequences for forgery.

I routinely sign for DW when I pick up her prescriptions at the pharmacy, but I'm not signing her name. I certainly wouldn't do that at the DMV (or pose for her driver's license photo).

Deputy is incorrect.

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The beauty of life

Posts: 19590
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Deputy you are correct. You need a power of attorney to be able to execute financial dealings on behalf of anyone.

side note: My babysitter's husband does my snow plowing so I make the check out to him. She cashes/deposits it, he asks how can she do that, she has been doing it for so long his signature would be questioned at the bank! LOLLL

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Wait, was I supposed to care?

Posts: 3421
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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ed11563 wrote:

You can endorse the back of a check, for deposit to the account of (spouse) and deposit it into spouse's account, but that's not signing spouse's name. If he signs your name to a check made out to you, and deposits it into an account that's only in his name, he can go to jail.

If you sign spouse's name on a tax return, and spouse objects later, there can be big consequences for forgery.

I routinely sign for DW when I pick up her prescriptions at the pharmacy, but I'm not signing her name. I certainly wouldn't do that at the DMV (or pose for her driver's license photo).

Deputy is incorrect.



you wanna try to convince him of that?  biggrin

I just gave up during the conversation.  Really not worth it.  In his mind he's right.  In mine, I am and I let him think he's right.  LOL, our secret to being happy, I let him think he's right

The thing I think confuses people is, with forgery, its only a crime if someone complains about it.  So, you have no problem with your spouse signing, all is well. 

 



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Wait, was I supposed to care?

Posts: 3421
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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I know what to do_sometimes wrote:

Deputy you are correct. You need a power of attorney to be able to execute financial dealings on behalf of anyone.

side note: My babysitter's husband does my snow plowing so I make the check out to him. She cashes/deposits it, he asks how can she do that, she has been doing it for so long his signature would be questioned at the bank! LOLLL




 LOL, sometimes with long standing customers that's how it is.  Like I said, its generally accepted that it happens, its just not actually legal.  Now, if she deposits it into a joint account, then withdraws money, that is legal.  A check can be deposited into an account owned by the person the check is to absent endorsement.  If it is a joint account, it is then joint funds she can draw on without his signature.  Or, the bank tellers just know her and allow it.  Happens with my mom at our home-town bank too.



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Chaos Reigns

Posts: 25137
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Since my husband travels so much I routinely sign his name on checks, med refills, and other like papers. Most everyone knows us and knows our situation. We live in a fairly small town and bank at a small bank. Once I was trying to DEPOSIT cash into my husband's personal account. The bank teller almost wouldn't let me do it. I said Geez dude, I'm DEPOSITING not trying to STEAL. Maybe you just haven't seen women in the past who contribute to a household. lol The bank manager knows both my husband and I by sight. I called her over and she set him straight. Now I go in and and say, Ok, I'm getting ready to sign my husband's name. If it bother's you you'd better look away. My husband also laughs that he can't sign his name on checks anymore because no one would recognize it.

I would never even attempt to sign his name to something like a will, loan paper, or other legal document. But yes, I sign his name to many other things. No choice sometimes.

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Wait, was I supposed to care?

Posts: 3421
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Nobody_Just_Nobody wrote:

Since my husband travels so much I routinely sign his name on checks, med refills, and other like papers. Most everyone knows us and knows our situation. We live in a fairly small town and bank at a small bank. Once I was trying to DEPOSIT cash into my husband's personal account. The bank teller almost wouldn't let me do it. I said Geez dude, I'm DEPOSITING not trying to STEAL. Maybe you just haven't seen women in the past who contribute to a household. lol The bank manager knows both my husband and I by sight. I called her over and she set him straight. Now I go in and and say, Ok, I'm getting ready to sign my husband's name. If it bother's you you'd better look away. My husband also laughs that he can't sign his name on checks anymore because no one would recognize it.

I would never even attempt to sign his name to something like a will, loan paper, or other legal document. But yes, I sign his name to many other things. No choice sometimes.



When I was a bank teller, I had customers ask if they could just sign for their spouse.  I would tell them that I could not know that they signed for them, if they happened to come back in 5 minutes with it signed, I wouldn't question it though lol  But that was only for regular customers that I knew.

The person about the deposit must have been new.  When you're new, you try to do everything by the book.  I would take deposits from other people, but only if they already had the account number.  And I'd tell them I would mail the customer the receipt.  Our receipts at the time had the client's account number and balance on it, information I could not give to an non-account holder.

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Chaos Reigns

Posts: 25137
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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We bank at a small bank. Everyone knows us. The bank manager especially knew us. Now no one questions me. I just lay out all the cards. All our bank cards, atm cards and account number cards and ask them "Which number are you wanting?"

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I don't forgive people because I'm weak.  I forgive people because I'm strong enough to know people make mistakes.

 



On the bright side.... (M)

Posts: 30793
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Actually, it is perfectly legal to sign things with "express consent". I do it all the time. Court pleadings for other attorneys, checks to deposit, etc. If the person has asked you to do it, or given consent for you to do it, it is fine. The problem arises when that person later recants if they get mad - that's why legal documents usually require a witness and/or a notary - which can't be signed by anyone else without a power of attorney. The power of attorney also proves the consent - which many financial institutions, and other businesses require.  I think it's a wise policy. 

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Chaos Reigns

Posts: 25137
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Do you think my husband will ever get change his mind and get mad about me putting money INTO his account? lol

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I don't forgive people because I'm weak.  I forgive people because I'm strong enough to know people make mistakes.

 



Wait, was I supposed to care?

Posts: 3421
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Nobody_Just_Nobody wrote:

Do you think my husband will ever get change his mind and get mad about me putting money INTO his account? lol



Probably not LOL

But, I've been in the middle (financially) of too many messy divorces to NOT have the proper paperwork on file.  No POA, no info.  No exceptions.

The whole root of this thread is.....to prove I was right biggrin

 



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...I'm not sure where life is taking me, but I'm sure enjoying the ride...


Chaos Reigns

Posts: 25137
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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I like being right deputy's girl. My husband told me he lets me win most of the time. I asked him if it mattered since I "win" and that's the point. He said no. lol

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I don't forgive people because I'm weak.  I forgive people because I'm strong enough to know people make mistakes.

 



I believe in I.D.I.C.

Posts: 16596
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Signing someone else's name is ALWAYS forgery, and not ever legal... but... that said... if no one complains, in most cases it's no big deal.

Think of it like speeding 5MPH over... it's NEVER legal, but as long as there are no problems hardly ever does anyone care... even cops.

Here is an interesting example of "spousal use"... Credit Cards: Visa and Master Card allow (with consent) ANYONE to sign for the named card-holder. American Express and Discover PROHIBIT anyone other than the named card-holder to sign. It's in their contracts... both the one that the applicant agrees to, and the ones that the businesses have with them.

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Chaos Reigns

Posts: 25137
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Uh Richard, I'm sure I've broken policy many a time. I have even accidentally signed my own name to my husband's personal credit card. No one has ever said a word.  The bank has never even said anything.  But like you said, if no one says anything...


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I don't forgive people because I'm weak.  I forgive people because I'm strong enough to know people make mistakes.

 



Chaos Reigns

Posts: 25137
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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Oh wait, one time the bank did call. My husband withdrew $200 cash before going out of the country on business. The next day my girlfriend and I went to lunch. They called the house and questioned the expenses. I tried to tell them exactly what they were but they refused to talk to me since I was not the card holder. It was actually kind of funny. I said, Is this about the $200 withdrawal or the lunch a such and such bill? She got kind of huffy and said she needed to verify the account with my husband. I let him know when he called and he called the bank. He told them the same thing. Quite funny in my opinion.

__________________

I don't forgive people because I'm weak.  I forgive people because I'm strong enough to know people make mistakes.

 



On the bright side.... (M)

Posts: 30793
Date: Jan 17, 2011
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RichardInTN wrote:

Signing someone else's name is ALWAYS forgery, and not ever legal... but... that said... if no one complains, in most cases it's no big deal.

Think of it like speeding 5MPH over... it's NEVER legal, but as long as there are no problems hardly ever does anyone care... even cops.

Here is an interesting example of "spousal use"... Credit Cards: Visa and Master Card allow (with consent) ANYONE to sign for the named card-holder. American Express and Discover PROHIBIT anyone other than the named card-holder to sign. It's in their contracts... both the one that the applicant agrees to, and the ones that the businesses have with them.



Not true.  For it to be illegal - there must be an intent to illegally benefit.  If you have consent to sign, you are not illegally benefitting from it. 


forgery

n. 1) the crime of creating a false document, altering a document, or writing a false signature for the illegal benefit of the person making the forgery. This includes improperly filling in a blank document, like an automobile purchase contract, over a buyer's signature, with the terms different from those agreed. It does not include such innocent representation as a staff member autographing photos of politicians or movie stars. While similar to forgery, counterfeiting refers to the creation of phoney money, stock certificates or bonds which are negotiable for cash. 2) a document or signature falsely created or altered.

 



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Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway. - Eleanor Roosevelt


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