The Art of Writing a Check

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The Art of Writing a Check

By: Jakob Jelling

Although it may seem very obvious, many people do not know how to write checks. With the birth of a generation that regularly uses ATM check cards, online bill payment systems, and credit cards more often than checks, check writing may risk extinction due to ignorance.

Luckily for you, this article will take you through the process of properly writing a check step-by-step - so that there may be hope for future generations of check writers. The first thing you should do is write in the date using any format with which you feel most comfortable. Just make sure that you write it legibly, so that there is no confusion as to when you wrote the check. If you want the recipient to have the money right away, put in the current date. If you want the recipient to withdraw the funds at a later date, however, write in a future date. This is called a post-dated check. Rent checks are often collected in this manner.

Secondly, write the name of the person or organization that will receive your check on the line that is preceded by the words "Pay to the Order of" or "Payable to." Then write the dollar amount that you want to send to the recipient in the small space that starts with a dollar sign ($) so that it is written in the following manner: "50.89.) " (Of course, you must write in the amount you want to pay). At this point you must write the same amount using words for whole dollar amounts, a fractional number for amounts less than a dollar, and a straight line in the remaining space before the word "Dollars." Do it in this manner exactly: "Fifty and 89/100

On the lower right side of the check, make sure you write your signature. Also, take note of the check number, date, payee, and amount in the check stub or the check ledger at the front of your checkbook. Now subtract the amount of your check so you can calculate how much money you have left in your account after the check clears.

Here are some extra tips for writing checks: know how much money you have in your bank account at any given time, as you will be charged a fee for any checks that bounce due to insufficient funds. Also, if you aren't very good at keeping records, use a checkbook that makes an automatic carbon copy of the checks you write. This will come in handy when you're busy or rushing to make payments.

By Jakob Jelling

About The Author

Jakob Jelling is the founder of Visit his website for the latest on personal finance, debt elimination, budgeting, credit cards and real estate.


jason83go 21.06.2006. 16:58

Why with a built in spell check for yahoo answers are so many spelling errors still happening ? Spelling is an art. Writing a sentance that people can understand on some leval, an act of humanity. Posting this question in arts and humanity where most spelling errors don't occur a cry for help. Wanna see errors go to Goverment they mispell nukclear and Texass. I just don't get it this with a spell check.
Edit: "sentance" and "leval" insert as needed.


Admin 21.06.2006. 16:58

Spell checking.hmm.I know this person who resembles a spell checker always pointing out the error in what i say and do. simply for their catch of the day. to see me before i see them. just a game of tag.No harm intended kind observer.


Chelsea 09.11.2011. 21:13

Are there any poster websites where I can write a check as a payment method? Are there any poster websites where I can write a check as a payment method? I don't have a credit card to use and i really want to buy this poster.


Admin 09.11.2011. 21:13

Which poster did you mention to?

You can try They have thousands upon thousands of posters (Fine Art Prints, Posters, Movie Posters, Music Posters, Mini Prints, Giclee Prints, Serigraphs, and related products and services).

They also accept lots of payment system. You might want to call them regarding check payment.

Hope this helps.


Kimbodian 17.07.2008. 01:43

If I am not a non-profit org, can businesses/companies still use their donation/grant as a tax write off? I am planning an art show but I am not part of any non-profit organization. It would be fine if the businesses/companies would write the checks directly to the city of Los Angeles because the money is going towards permit fees. Would this still qualify as a tax write off?
The show is a community service project and admission is free.


Admin 17.07.2008. 01:43

It may qualify as a business expense as a sponsorship. However, it will not qualify as a charitable deduction.


Pebble 09.12.2009. 11:49

What are the different types of writing styles used in essay-writing and content writing? I want to know the different techniques and arts of writing. People who have informative answers should reply.


Admin 09.12.2009. 11:49

Check in Wikipedia and search essays.
Good luck.


Anonymous 02.01.2013. 18:02

Does anyone know of any good competitions for teen poetry collections? I know that Scholastic Art and Writing has a competition for poetry collection of 1-5 poems. I was going to submit to this competition, but am unable to at the moment. If you know of any writing competitions for short poetry collections, can you please respond? Thank you.


Admin 02.01.2013. 18:02

Check out Poets & Writers (they have a print publication and a good online site) is an online list of places to submit (pay site)
Also you can check your library or bookstore for the annual publication Poet's Market

These two sites might be good for you to explore as well:


Barracuda 13.01.2009. 20:27

Where can I donate more money to the banks and financial institutions? I just don't think that 700 billion bailout is enough.

I want to write them a check to help them out. Hopefully, they can take more spa retreats, vacations and get more bonuses.

I'm also going to write a check to my Big Ten University alma mater. God knows, they need some more money to construct all those big new buildings, pay professors and buy state of the art equipment while students can barely afford to go to school!


Admin 13.01.2009. 20:27

Great idea. I'll send you my bank account numbers you can wire it to me. I'll be sure to distribute it wisely. Okay?


yettipower 09.07.2007. 18:22

Is it legal for an executor of an estate to do this? My uncle is the executor of my grandparents estate and the Will states the the assest are to be devided equally between my father and him (a strait 50/50). My uncle has refused to communicate with my dad and has sent letters to the realestate agent and title company demanding that they write one check for the propertiy being sold to him; moreover, he tells them that they cannot give him (my father) the name of the estate attorny(who drafted the Will), nor the title company or any information whatsoever regarding the sale of this property, or the other property that is listed.
What he is planning to do is keep a 100% of the proceeds so he can buy a house cash as he has been living with my grandparents, and feels that although my father has a mortgage he should not. Then when and if the cabin sells ( the second property) split that with my dad to even things up, whenever that happens.
This is in Minnesota


Admin 09.07.2007. 18:22

In what state is probate occurring?


By the way, the entire probate code can be found here:
Under Minnesota Probate code(s) you have the right to demand the executor submit a Performance Bond as per the following:

Any person apparently having an interest in the estate worth in excess of $1,000, or any creditor having a claim in excess of $1,000, may make a written demand that a personal representative give bond.

The demand must be filed with the court and a copy mailed to the personal representative, if appointment and qualification have occurred. Thereupon, the court may require or excuse the requirement of a bond. After having received notice and until the filing of the bond or until the requirement of bond is excused, the personal representative shall refrain from exercising any powers of office except as necessary to preserve the estate.

Failure of the personal representative to meet a requirement of bond by giving suitable bond within 30 days after receipt of notice is cause for removal and appointment of a successor personal representative. An interested person who initially waived bond may demand bond under this section.
History: 1974 c 442 art 3 s 524.3-605; 1975 c 347 s 49; 1986 c 444

You also have recourse under the following:
Any sale or encumbrance to the personal representative, the personal representative's spouse, agent or attorney, or any corporation or trust in which the personal representative has a substantial beneficial interest, or any transaction which is affected by a substantial conflict of interest on the part of the personal representative, is voidable by any person interested in the estate except one who has consented after fair disclosure, unless

(1) the will or a contract entered into by the decedent expressly authorized the transaction; or

(2) the transaction is approved by the court after notice to interested persons.
History: 1974 c 442 art 3 s 524.3-713; 1986 c 444

And FINALLY, it seems that the representative may be in violation of the following:

Except as restricted or otherwise provided by the will or by an order in a formal proceeding and subject to the priorities stated in section 524.3-902, a personal representative, acting reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons, may properly:

(1) retain assets owned by the decedent pending distribution or liquidation including those in which the representative is personally interested or which are otherwise improper for trust investment;

(2) receive assets from fiduciaries, or other sources;

(3) perform, compromise or refuse performance of the decedent's contracts that continue as obligations of the estate, as the personal representative may determine under the circumstances. In performing enforceable contracts by the decedent to convey or lease land, the personal representative, among other possible courses of action, may:
(i) execute and deliver a deed of conveyance for cash payment of all sums remaining due or the purchaser's note for the sum remaining due secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on the land; or
(ii) deliver a deed in escrow with directions that the proceeds, when paid in accordance with the escrow agreement, be paid to the successors of the decedent, as designated in the escrow agreement;

(4) satisfy written charitable pledges of the decedent irrespective of whether the pledges constituted binding obligations of the decedent or were properly presented as claims, if in the judgment of the personal representative the decedent would have wanted the pledges completed
under the circumstances;

(5) if funds are not needed to meet debts and expenses currently payable and are not immediately distributable, deposit or invest liquid assets of the estate, including moneys received from the sale of other assets, in federally insured interest-bearing accounts, readily marketable
secured loan arrangements or other prudent investments which would be reasonable for use by trustees generally;

(6) acquire or dispose of an asset, including land in this or another state, for cash or on credit, at public or private sale; and manage, develop, improve, exchange, partition, change
the character of, or abandon an estate asset;

(7) make ordinary or extraordinary repairs or alterations in buildings or other structures, demolish any improvements, raze existing or erect new party walls or buildings;

(8) subdivide, develop or dedicate land to public use; make or obtain the vacation of plats and adjust boundaries; or adjust differences in valuation on exchange or partition by giving or receiving considerations; or dedicate easements to public use without consideration;

(9) enter for any purpose into a lease as lessor or lessee, with or without option to purchase or renew, for a term within or extending beyond the period of administration;

(10) enter into a lease or arrangement for exploration and removal of minerals or other natural resources or enter into a pooling or unitization agreement;

(11) abandon property when, in the opinion of the personal representative, it is valueless, or is so encumbered, or is in condition that it is of no benefit to the estate;

(12) vote stocks or other securities in person or by general or limited proxy;

(13) pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against or on account of securities, unless barred by the provisions relating to claims;

(14) hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the interest of the estate but the personal representative is liable for any act of the nominee in
connection with the security so held;
(15) insure the assets of the estate against damage, loss and liability and the personal representative against liability as to third persons;

(16) borrow money with or without security to be repaid from the estate assets or otherwise; and advance money for the protection of the estate;

(17) effect a fair and reasonable compromise with any debtor or obligor, or extend, renew or in any manner modify the terms of any obligation owing to the estate. The personal representative on holding a mortgage, pledge or other lien upon property of another person may, in lieu of foreclosure, accept a conveyance or transfer of encumbered assets from the owner thereof in satisfaction of the indebtedness secured by lien;

(18) pay in compliance with section 524.3-805, but without the presentation of a claim, the reasonable and necessary last illness expenses of the decedent (except as provided in section 524.3-806 (a)), reasonable funeral expenses, debts and taxes with preference under federal or state law, and other taxes, assessments, compensation of the personal representative and the personal representative's attorney, and all other costs and expenses of administration although the same may be otherwise barred under section 524.3-803;

(19) sell or exercise stock subscription or conversion rights; consent, directly or through a committee or other agent, to the reorganization, consolidation, merger, dissolution, or liquidation of a corporation or other business enterprise;

(20) allocate items of income or expense to either estate income or principal, as permitted or provided by law;

(21) employ persons, including attorneys, auditors, investment advisors, or agents, even if they are associated with the personal representative, to advise or assist the personal representative in the performance of administrative duties; act without independent investigation upon their
recommendations; and instead of acting personally, employ one or more agents to perform any act of administration, whether or not discretionary;

(22) prosecute or defend claims, or proceedings in any jurisdiction for the protection of the estate and of the personal representative in the performance of duties;

(23) sell, mortgage, or lease any real or personal property of the estate or any interest therein, including the homestead, exempt or otherwise, for cash, credit, or for part cash and part credit, with or without security for unpaid balances, and without the consent of any devisee or heir unless the property has been specifically devised to a devisee or heir by decedent's will, except that the homestead of a decedent when the spouse takes any interest therein shall not be sold, mortgaged or leased unless the written consent of the spouse has been obtained;

(24) continue any unincorporated business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at the time of death (i) in the same business form for a period of not more than four months from the date of appointment of a general personal representative if continuation is a reasonable means of preserving the value of the business including good will, (ii) in the same business form for any additional period of time that may be approved by order of the court in a formal
proceeding to which the persons interested in the estate are parties; or (iii) throughout the period of administration if the business is incorporated by the personal representative and if none of the probable distributees of the business who are competent adults object to its incorporation and retention in the estate;

(25) incorporate any business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at the time of death;

(26) provide for exoneration of the personal representative from personal liability in any contract entered into on behalf of the estate;

(27) satisfy and settle claims and distribute the estate as provided in this chapter;

(28) foreclose a mortgage, lien, or pledge or collect the debts secured thereby, or complete any such proceeding commenced by the decedent;

(29) exercise all powers granted to guardians and conservators by sections 524.5-101 to 524.5-502.
History: 1974 c 442 art 3 s 524.3-715; 1975 c 347 s 55; 1986 c 444; 2004 c 146 art 3 s 42; 2006 c 221 s 21

That is all I can give you for now. I would need more exact information. I would suggest however that you contact the real Estate agent's broker (or have your attorney do so) and inform them that the sale of the home MUST comply with the above statute otherwise, they are notified that any further proceeding without establishment of an escrow in favor of all parties with standing to inherit under the will, will be in clear violation of the Probate code and will serve to include the Broker in the eventual lawsuit.


Jeff 28.05.2013. 23:44

How and When Should I Become and Actor? I am 13, and I love arts. Acting, writing, drawing, music. I just have a question. I have wanted to try acting for a while (movies), but I don't know where to start. I know it won't be easy, I know I probably won't amount to much in terms of acting, I just want to know when you start. And please don't say I'm too young, I just want to get started as soon as possible.


Admin 28.05.2013. 23:44

You need to understand that professional acting is a business. Actors are not just "discovered" and minors become actors mainly because of the hard work of their parents. A professional career is like starting a business and you are the product that has to be marketed and sold. First you need a good product (talent, training and experience) and you need to understand the industry. It's a huge investment of time, effort and money for you AND your parents with no guarantee of a return on that investment. So again - fame, popularity, money, attention - REALLY BAD reasons for wanting to try for an acting career because chances are it's just not going to happen.

But if you love acting, you can have fun learning and growing as an actor. Some options you have:

* Taking acting classes. Voice and dance lessons can be helpful too. You'll want a school/program that has a strong reputation with well-respected instructors.

* Audition for what you can - school plays, community theater, student films, local productions. Performing with a choir or a dance troupe or other performance group is also helpful. Contact local film schools and ask how they find actors for student films and check those resources. Check out the websites for your local film commission and see what opportunties are there.

* Read plays and scripts - all kinds - and keep an eye out for characters and monologues you love and want to develop.

* Read books and websites about acting - the craft/technique and the business end of things too.

* Join Speech/Drama club and look into competing in the acting divisions of forensic competitions.

* Get together with friends and play improv games, make your own home movies or web series, put on your own productions.

* Keep up your grades in school. Embrace learning, you never know when you can somehow use that information later.

Then you and your parents can research the business end of things. You'll need to understand the entire casting process, who the players are and what they do (and don't do). You'll need to understand industry contracts, actor unions, the legal restrictions for minors (in some states you need an entertainment work permit and a trust account established in your name to legally work in the industry). You'll need to know how to market you and your skills. You'll need to network and make connections in the industry. Some websites with helpful information for you and your parents:

Once you AND your parents are ready, you can look into getting a talent agent. Agents are paid on commission, getting a percentage of what their clients make. (NEVER pay an agent up front.) Since they are paid only if their clients are paid, they are picky about who they take on as clients. And they can be picky because there are a lot more people wanting to be actors than there are roles. So you can't just go out and hire an agent, it's more like they choose you.

The best way to get an agent is through networking. Maybe you impress an acting teacher or director you've worked with enought that they would be willing to refer you to a talent agent. Acting schools/programs with a strong reputation can attract talent agents to their showcases and you could get an agent that way. (Just be careful of "pay to play" scams.) Otherwise, you can submit your head shot and resume to several agencies. If they're interested in you, they'll contact you about an audition/interview. If you don't hear anything back, they're not intersted at this time.

Remember, you don't have to have a professional career as minor to have one as an adult. Often child actors have trouble transitioning into adult roles. You can look into quality acting schools/programs for after high school. It's not required for a professional acting career, but it can be helpful.

Good luck.


funnygirl19 08.02.2009. 05:50

How should we promote our literary magazine? It's basically all types of art and writing in a book, with a cd and dvd of our high school's student's work.

How could we get more people to buy it?
We have an idea of a coffee house, but what should we do at it?

Any ideas help!!


Admin 08.02.2009. 05:50

Coffee houses are a good idea, as long as there's some mature content, or something amusing or worth checking out, in it. You could leave one copy in each place, keep the cd or dvd out of it, but have a few subscriptions inside the place or the mag, someone can fill out, to send for the mag and/or cd/dvd, if they're interested they will. Or give some of the cd/dvds and/or mags to the owner of the place to keep behind the counter so he can sell it to people who ask about it.


totallynotfamous 25.04.2011. 18:23

What techniques to authors use to make their writing enjoyable? I am writing a book, but i am not yet an adult. All of my teachers say i have a remarkable writing ability. But i notice that my book doesnt pull the reader into the story as much as other books I have read. My dad, a published screenplay writer, says it is because i use too much dialogue, and i need to use more logic in my writing. So what strategies should i try? Also, could you explain exactly what my dad means by logic. Thank you so much.


Admin 25.04.2011. 18:23

First of all, you're probably comparing your work to published authors. These are dudes with decades of experience, etc, etc. So ease up on yourself.

Forget all that logic jazz. At this point in your life, you need to be writing crazy. Ferociously. Attack everything. Write thousands and thousands of lines of dialogue. Over write *everything*. Be a wildman. Read voraciously. Read other madmen, like Kerouac and Melville.

Logic is meaningless. Passion is everything. Explore all sorts of techniques. Read a lot of Shakespeare. Check out "Zen and the art of writing" By Ray Bradbury. Develop endurance... be able to write thousands of words a day. Learn how to write when you hate what you're writing. Learn to embrace failure. Love it. Treat your process the way an athlete treats his training.

Don't write for an "audience" yet. Write for yourself. As you progress, you'll find your own way. A friend of mine once said "it takes 20 years to be a writer". So relax, my friend. You've got world enough and time.


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