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If he failed to cash the check, then he can still request payment if the bank won't negotiate the check because the civil statute of limitations on an oral contract in Michigan is 6 years.
But since it was the estate that sold you the car through the executor, then if it were me, I would request that he send the old check back to you and you will replace it with a new one made payable again to the estate.
Then it is up to the nephew to deposit it into the estate account and disburse it according to the will or estate plan.
I would not make it out to the nephew personally.