Declaration for Collection of Compensation Owed to Decesead Spouse

California Probate Code Section 13600 allows a a surviving spouse or domestic partner, or guardian of either, to collect salary or other compensation owed by an employer for personal services of the deceased spouse not in excess of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) without procuring letters of administration or awaiting probate.

This procedure may be used immediately after the passing of a spouse or domestic partner, regardless of the size of the estate. However, the surviving spouse or domestic partner must be entitled to the compensation under the decedent’s will or by intestate succession.

A sample Declaration for Collection of Compensation Owed to Deceased Spouse or Domestic Partner in .pdf format can be downloaded by clicking here.

In order to collect the unpaid salary of a deceased spouse or domestic partner, the surviving spouse must complete the following document and present it to the employer(s). Please note, this document is formatted for Los Angeles County, however the form is based on California Probate Code 13600 and can be easily altered to be used in any county in California.

DECLARATION FOR COLLECTION OF COMPENSATION OWED TO DECEASED SPOUSE OR DOMESTIC PARTNER

(California Probate Code Section 13600)

STATE OF CALIFORNIA     |

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES   |

HOWTOPROBATE.COM        |

 

The undersigned declares:

 

1.    The decedent’s name is __________________________________.

2.    The decedent died on (date) _____________________________

at (county) __________________________.

3.    The affiant or declarant is the guardian or conservator of the estate of the surviving spouse of the decedent.

4.    The surviving spouse of the decedent is entitled to the earnings of the decedent under the decedent’s will or by intestate succession and no one else has a superior right to the earnings.

5.    No proceeding is now being or has been conducted in California for administration of the decedent’s estate.

6.    Sections 13600 to 13605, inclusive, of the California Probate Code require that the earnings of the decedent, including compensation for unused vacation, not in excess of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) net, be paid promptly to the affiant or declarant.

7.    Neither the surviving spouse, nor anyone acting on behalf of the surviving spouse, has a pending request to collect compensation owed by another employer for personal services of the decedent under Sections 13600 to 13605, inclusive, of the California Probate Code.

8.    Neither the surviving spouse, nor anyone acting on behalf of the surviving spouse, has collected any compensation owed by an employer for personal services of the decedent under Sections 13600 to 13605, inclusive, of the California Probate Code except the sum of ___________________ dollars ($____________) which was collected from ______________________.

9.    The affiant or declarant requests that he or she be paid the salary or other compensation owed by you for personal services of the decedent, including compensation for unused vacation, not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) net, less the amount of _______________________ dollars ($___________________) which was previously collected.

10.   The affiant or declarant affirms or declares under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

Dated: _____________________

 

Signature: ______________________

 

Printed Name: ________________________

California Probate Code Section 13604 also states that:

(a) If the employer refuses to pay as required by this chapter, the surviving spouse may recover the amount the surviving spouse is entitled to receive under this chapter in an action brought for that purpose against the employer.

(b) If an action is brought against the employer under this section, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the surviving spouse if the court finds that the employer acted unreasonably in refusing to pay as required by this chapter.

A powerful tool should the employer refuse to pay the unpaid salary due to the surviving spouse or domestic partner.