"Since it appears that we are finally getting to the end of this long process, I am worryed about how my Mom will cash her settlement check once she receives it. She has no bank account, and I can't open one for her for fear of creditors swooping down and freezing the account (this lump sum is the only asset she will have)."
Unless her creditors already have judgments, they won't be able to "swoop and freeze".
"I could put it in my bank account to clear, but I'm not sure my bank account would allow it."
I'm not sure.
My bank wouldn't take a two party endorsement when my sibs and I tried to deposit a check made out to my mother's estate when the executor endorsed it. We had to open an estate checking account and then disburse funds from it.
You could always just have your Mom endorse the check and you take it to your bank and try to deposit. Worst that can happen is the bank says no.
"And due to the amount, I don't think a check cashing place is viable."
And you probably wouldn't want to pay the fee.
"Could I ask our lawyer to insist that the check be a bank check, a cashier's check, or a check making me the payee on Mom's behalf, or even a direct deposit into my account?"
You could ask, and he could insist, but I doubt if the WC would issue the check in anything but the claimant's name.
"Mom is 75, in poor health, living on SS and a puny pension. She is not trying to defraud anyone, if the settlement was large enough I would try to negot with these creditors, but it's not. She desperatley needs an operation (doesn't have anything to do with her injury), and I am trying to do what is best for her."
Unfortunately, that's not going to make any difference with how the check is made out.
"Or is that a Worker's Comp settlement is not subject to a creditor's levy,"
I don't see an exemption for WC settlements in the exemption statute. Take a look:
"which means she could open a bank account to deposit the check. I had this problem once before when a creditor froze my account because I deposited her SS check in my account (different bank). I got the money back, but not before several checks bounced."
Does that mean she already has judgments against her?
If yes, then opening an account in her name could be a problem.
One thing occurs to me. When the lawyer gets the settlement will she have to endorse it over to him so he can deposit it into his trust account to get his share, then write a check to her for her share?
If yes, you might see if the lawyer will make the check out to you. He probably won't but it's worth asking. And if he doesn't, maybe you can get him to write several smaller checks that might be more easily deposited in your bank with two-party endorsements.