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In mid-October, my mother received a notice saying that my father was eligible for compensation (in the neighborhood of $1000) as part of an enforcement action related to the case of USA v. Epsilon/KBM. We have since received a check for the amount.

My father, however, died in 2019. My mother sent a letter notifying the enforcement agency of his death, but only the gods know if anyone even received or read that. My mother is, of course, the executor of my father's (basically nonexistent) estate. Are we able to cash the check/take ownership of the compensation, or should we just send the check back?

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This seems to be covered in the FAQ linked in the page you've linked -

Under point 14 there it says

You can request that the name on the check that will be issued be changed to the surviving spouse or a beneficiary. Please call us at (833)910-4494 and indicate you would like to “Request Name Change.” You will be required to submit a brief statement explaining why the check should be issued in a different name, and provide supporting documentation (e.g., legal documentation including a death certificate for the person named in the notice, and any other legal document that names the beneficiary of the decedent. Power of attorney documents will not be accepted). If you are unsure of what to provide, please contact us so that we may assist you

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    Oh, no, I've become what I most fear-someone who doesn't read all of the information and then complains about it! Thanks.
    – Exal
    Nov 17, 2023 at 19:59

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