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How long after he passed away was the check received?
What was the check for?
Does the wife know for sure you signed it?
It is forgery to sign his name and cash the check.
Giving her the money doesn't make what you did legal.
In TN forgery is a Class E felony and carries a possible penalty of not less than one (1) year nor more than six (6) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000), unless otherwise provided by statute
What you need to do is go and hire a local lawyer and let them work this out for you.
The problem is that anything you say or do with her can be used against you.
The lawyer, however, doesn't have the same issues.
They can get an agreement where she doesn't file charges if you give her the money.
And they can also word the agreement where it was a mistake as opposed to an intentional act.
You're very welcome. Best wishes to you. Please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I'd suggest Excellent) so I get credit for my work. The experts only get credit from the website when you issue a Positive Rating.
I think your lawyer will probably be able to get something worked out where this goes away.
So you are doing the right thing by trying to handle it early.
You're welcome. I'm going to exit now to assist others.