still exist," I told the Senior Cat. I had told him I needed to go to the bank to find out what should be done about the traveller's cheques my friend has not used.
She has had these for years. She bought them when she went to China to teach about twenty years ago. Because she became ill there she did not use a rather large sum of money.
Traveller's cheques are money. They do not date. They can still be cashed - but there is a catch.
For those who have never used them traveller's cheques are like paper money. Each piece is worth a certain denomination in a certain currency - usually US dollars or Euros or Pounds Sterling although other currencies are possible. You sign the front of the cheque when you get it and then, in order to cash it, you must sign it again in front of the bank, business or person who is accepting the money. They must then put it into their bank account. They are considered to be very secure.
They are so secure that, as I suspected, even the person with the Power of Attorney, cannot cash them for immediate deposit into the bank account of the person whose name they are in. I needed to ask at the bank just what could be done about it. They had no answer except "try talking to American Express".
Of course that organisation expects people to have an account with them before they will even speak to you on the phone. I thought some more and read the website carefully. We cannot get her to a bank but my friend can still sign her name so there had to be an answer somewhere.
I am hoping there is. Her solicitor is going to see her today. Her solicitor, whom I have not met but have spoken to on the phone, appears to be a competent, compassionate and caring individual. I sent her an e-mail. If the accountants for the trust fund at her firm agree would she witness my friend sign the cheques and then place them in the trust account. They could then be used to pay my friend's account.
I had an e-mail back late in the afternoon. It sounds like a reasonable solution if the accounts department agrees. She will let me know via e-mail this morning. I hope they agree.
But, moral, use your traveller's cheques!