What to do if an employee with our company died without a Wi and his family is fighting over his final paycheck?

He had a common law wife and 2 grown children. All 3 are fighting over his final paycheck. The oldest of the 2 children says there is no “named” executor and no “named” power of attorney. How do I handle this last paycheck?

Asked on August 11, 2014 under Estate Planning, Alabama


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The check will need to be written to "the estate of so and so" - your deceased employee.  And the only party that can cash that check is the personal representative (generally called the administrator when some one dies without a Will) when they open an estate account.  Just let them know that you will wait until you receive a copy of the Letters of Administration from the court.  Good luck. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If there is no will and no executor, you wait until the court-appointed administrator or someone else with authority from the court comes forward, and then give that person the check. Even when there is no will, there will always be *someone* appointed by the court, generally in possession of "letters testatmentary" to handle the estate; that will be the person to provide the check to.

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