Welcome to TFF and a great question to ask before starting out. As long as they were stored properly, they'll be just fine.
Did he happen to pass along and reloading manuals too? When you start your load work-ups, you should always load only a few and test them. You do not want to load up 100 or more and then find out that they're not suitable for what you're after. Your thought process of load up a half dozen and test is a wise one!
If the powder has turned greenish or smells bad, then use it for fertilizer. You can always prime a few cases and then just try them to see if they go bang. Not sure if you can pop off a couple primers outside where you live, but certainly don't do it indoors if you happen to be married.
What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death? -- (on Sigourney Weaver's worry about Guns in Aliens)
"Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands."
"I carry a small gun to compensate for my huge Blue press."