Our church is purchasing a church building from another church where the pastor is no longer pastoring. The original contract was between his church and our church, but now that he has closed out the accounts, he wants us to make the check out to him personally so that he will be able to deposit it into his personal account. I don't think this is correct and that it can get both him and our church into trouble if we do what he wants. What should we do?
Your instincts are correct. You ought to make the check out to the person or entity that signs the deed conveying the property to your church. You will probably want a title search or title insurance to assure that you are actually getting good title to the property. It is possible that the property is owned in his individual name, but ordinarily, once property is put in the name of a charitable organization, it can’t be distributed to individuals on the dissolution of the organization.