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.
If this answer is helpful, please click that option. This response is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the answers by the named attorney do not create an attorney-client relationship between said attorney and the user or browser.
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
***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!
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.
Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.
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.