I am not sure how to answer your questions. So I did it as a new question. My husband has no minor kid. No type of estate. We are very poor and I still am. The check is from an Independent Foreclosure Review program thing. It is for $3,000 dollars.
Call or go to the Rutherford County Probate Court Clerk's office to see if they have a probate "packet" of forms you can use. As my fellow attorneys stated, a small estate probate case seems the best route based upon the facts you have given. Clerks do not give legal advice, but you will need to pursue the probate case for property solely in your husband's name. If you continue to have trouble, seek a qualified local probate attorney, at least for a one-time consultation.
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This would appear to qualify as a small estate. You should be able to use a small estate affidavit. See here for more information: http://smallestates.uslegal.com/affidavits-and-summary-administration-laws/tennessee-small-estates-law/
See here for a copy of the form: probate.shelbycountytn.gov/forms/FORMS.../SmallEstatePacket2011A.pdf
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Family Law Attorney
I agree with Attorney Frederick. Some amounts can be accessed through use of an Affidavit to collect personal property, including checks and it sounds like you qualify.
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You likely will not need an attorney. Assuming the check is payable solely to your deceased husband, go to the Rutherford County Probate Clerk's office and ask for a Small Estate Affidavit. List the check as an asset, along with any other property titled solely to your husband. Also list any debts owed by your husband alone (not joint debts). I recommend not publishing a notice to creditors. Assuming the estate assets are under $25,000, and your husband's adult children consent to your appointment as Administrator, you will be appointed and you can cash the check. If your husband's adult children do not sign written consents, then you will have to go before the judge, but it's an informal hearing and you can do this yourself without a lawyer.