My mom is 84 years old, and her memory is not so good. I just found a lawsuit settlement check from an attorney along with the settlement papers in her files. The check is for $24,000, drawn on an IOLA account and is dated Jan 1996. What should I do? I do recall this lawsuit, but I'm not aware at the time of what might have happened to the money.
I would start by taking it to your bank and asking them what they think. They can probably call the bank on the check and find out if it is still good. If they let you deposit the check, I would wait a couple of weeks before spending the money, in case the issuing bank decides that the check is no good, and your bank wants its money back.
If you are told that the check is not good anymore, the next thing I would do is to check with your state's treasurer's office and see if they have any "unclaimed money" for your mother.