1) In terms of right to the money, since you were husband and wife, the right to money, when the amount is relatively small, there should not be an issue.
2) As to the check itself, it is common for insurance companies to issue checks to estate. But it is a lot of deal for a bank to accept and process the check. I will explain as follows.
a) Estate of a person is a different entity. From the bank or a financial institute's perspective, this entity needs a tax identification number to open a new account under this estate's name. Because estate is an entity, like a corporation and not a person, usually such a check needs to be directly deposited into an account with that name. You cannot take the check and accept it as designated to you personally.
b) Your account was joint with your husband. Once you present this check to the bank, they may immediately take his name off the account. Depending on the arrangement on the account, they will decide whether you are entitled to the rest of the money. Usually, it is not an issue here.
c) I am not sure Currency Exchange or Walmart or some financial institute you are familiar with will or will not let you sign on the back for the estate and for you and cash it. Supposedly, they should not and will not be willing to take and cash this check. This check needs to be deposited into an account titled Estate of your husband's name.
3) Because you are the executor of the will, there must be some money relatively large, or at least not small, to be handled, it would be best to open an estate account. It is not very hard to do. We can apply for an EIN number for the estate through the IRS website. Then, you can use the paper work to go to bank to open the account.
4) However, I would recommend you find a professional person to help you with the process.
Please feel free to follow up with further questions. Otherwise, I am ready to be evaluated by you for your satisfaction with my answer to your question.
Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP