This week my office received a very large deposit check, relating to our client’s sale of an expensive property. Our office will be the escrow agent, holding the deposit until the closing in this summer. We also represent the seller in the sale.

The Buyer must really trust lawyers, because the check was written to me, personally (as opposed to my office). I am humbled by his trust, and take seriously the responsibility of handling his money. However, the world is filled with evil-doers. Other lawyers may not be as trustworthy. Moreover, someone could have intercepted this check, and fraudulently converted it for themselves (a task more difficult with a check payable to a business).

In addition to the check’s loosely named payee, it was sent by first class mail, with no tracking or cover letter. Even the envelope was flimsy and practically “see-through.”

As the spring and summer market rolls on, I’d like to remind my readers to be more diligent with handling their deposit checks.

  • Use company names as your payee.
  • Complete the memo section, noting the purpose of your check.
  • Add cover letters itemizing an envelope’s contents.
  • Send large amounts using delivery tracking such as priority or certified mail.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices estate planning and real estate law in Billerica at Priority Law.

This article was originally published in the Lowell Sun and is for informational purposes only and not to be relied on as legal advice, in any manner.