The last thing on your mind when you're hurriedly packing for your honeymoon and still recovering from your dance floor soreness is stopping by the bank, but it might be something you should add to your to-do list. (Not that you need one more thing to take care of!) Experts say it's key to create a game plan for depositing checks given to you as wedding gifts ASAP: not only for security reasons, but also because it's pretty inconsiderate not to.
Like most things when it comes to wedding planning, coming up with a strategy ahead of time will save you headaches further down the line, says Lisa Odoski, vice president of The Fried Group, parent company of TFG Wealth Management. вЂњThe most prudent decision to make when you're preparing for your wedding, is to decide what are you're going to do with your monetary gifts, especially if the honeymoon is soon after your wedding,вЂќ she says. вЂњIf you get married on a Friday or Saturday, and you're not leaving until Monday, you really need to plan for someone you trust, like a parent or a sibling to take care of that for you.вЂќ
If you're entrusting someone else to make a deposit for you (again, a close family member is your best best), endorse all your checks for deposit only, and do a final tally of how much there is in cash and checks to be deposited. вЂњIf you send someone to deposit the money then when they deposit it and get the receipt, you can match it up,вЂќ Odoski says. вЂњIt's always good measure to do that.вЂќ
See more: These 10 Travel Gifts for Couples Make the Perfect Wedding Present
When it comes right down to it, is it rude to wait to deposit a check? Yup! вЂњChecks are written to be deposited,вЂќ says Sharon Schweitzer, founder of Austin, Texas, protocol firm Access to Culture. вЂњHaving said that, the culture of the nation, geographical area, and people involved impact when a check is deposited. In the U.S., it is a commonly held belief that waiting more than two weeks to deposit or cash a check is too long.вЂќ
You also shouldn't worry about seeming too over eager by going to the bank ASAP, Schweitzer says. вЂњBrides and couples may wish to avoid the appearing greedy by cashing checks right away, however, depositing checks in a timely manner saves the writer and the recipient time and headaches,вЂќ she says. Schweitzer says it's especially rude to wait to deposit a mailed check, as the sender may think it was lost in transit and may cancel it.
Odoski says checks should be deposited вЂњright awayвЂќ to avoid having a pile of cash and checks sitting around that could be lost or stolen. Aim to deposit any checks within 30 days to avoid screwing up the bookkeeping (or Mint account) of any of your guests, with anything past six months being way too late. вЂњAfter six months, the Uniform Commercial Code gives banks the out that they don't have to cash a check,вЂќ she says. вЂњSome banks will, but they're not obligated to.вЂќ
Bottom line? Try to get this task done as soon as possible.
What happens if you have to wait a while for deposits, due to a name change, opening of a bank account, or (whoops) a lost check? Then you should reach out to the gift giver. вЂњIf the check has been misplaced, notify the check writer immediately,вЂќ Schweitzer says. вЂњContacting the check writer to advise them that you misplaced and just found the check, or were delayed due to a name change; and advising them that you plan to make the deposit demonstrates common courtesy. Send an email thanking them for their generous gift to your nuptials, and explain the circumstances that prevented you from cashing the check sooner. Specify the exact date you plan on cashing the check so that they may make any necessary arrangements, and ask them to let you know whether that date suits their situation.вЂќ
Here's a sample script from Schweitzer, if you need one:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Julian and I would like to thank you again for your generous wedding gift. It was a joy to share our special day with you, and we hope you had a wonderful time. I'm reaching out to you because I had to wait for my name change to finalize before cashing the check, and wanted to let you know that I plan on cashing it this Thursday afternoon. Is this date acceptable to you? If you prefer a different date, or to write a new check, please advise. Again, my sincere apologies for my delay. Thank you.
Take Advantage of Technology
There's no reason to stand in line at a bank branch if you don't have to. Odoski recommends using mobile banking apps (for depositing checks) or ATMs (for depositing cash) if you don't plan on depositing with a teller. вЂњFor today's bride, that is a really good option, that they could sit in the luxury of their living room and deposit their checks, using an app,вЂќ she says. Again, planning in advance comes in handy. Find out if your bank has daily deposit limits and what they are, as well as open a joint account if that's where the money is going. вЂњHave all that set up and ready to go, so you can go on your honeymoon or the next step in peace,вЂќ she says.