Payroll Services

Final Payments to Deceased Employees

  • Notify Payroll Services (335-1617) or payroll@wsu.edu when an employee dies. Department personnel should prepare a separation Personnel Action Form and submit time reports or leave reports as soon as possible so final payment can be calculated. If deceased employee is paid hourly, report all hours owing to Payroll.
  • Payroll Services will stop the deceased employee’s direct deposit and hold the final payment until legal documents are received. Payroll estimates final payment in order to provide advice as to which legal documents are required.
  • Payroll will need a certified copy of the death certificate prior to final payment being made.
  • The recipient of the final payment may be required to prove relationship to the deceased employee per RCW 49.48.120(4).
  • Final payment is dependent upon the receipt of the proper legal documents such as:
    1. Copy of a court order appointing a personal representative, executor or administrator OR
    2. A copy of signed community property agreement and affidavit OR
    3. A claim of Indebtedness of the State of Washington is presented by the surviving spouse, or if no spouse, child or children, if no children, surviving parents. See OFM link for further explanation of this option. Payments cannot exceed $12,000. OR
    4. An affidavit for personal property for estates under $60,000 per RCW 11.62.020 is presented.
  • Recipient of final payment must complete IRS Form W-9 “Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification”
  • Recipient of final payment must acknowledge receipt of payment.
  • State agencies are not to use wills as a basis for distribution of amounts owed to a deceased employee. WSU is not authorized to determine the legality of any will document that is provided.
  Documents Required Before Payment is Made:  

OPTION A - Court-appointed Executor, Administrator or Personal Representative

If an executor, administrator or personal representative for the estate of the deceased has been appointed by a court, all amounts owed, including anything in excess of $12,000 are payable to the deceased and transmitted as requested to the executor, administrator or personal representative.

  1. Certified copy of the deceased employee’s death certificate.
  2. Copy of the court order appointing the personal representative.
  3. An IRS Form W-9 providing either the estate’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or the individual’s social security number (SSN).
NOTE: A Claim of Indebtedness form should not be completed by an executor, administrator or personal representative.

OPTION B – Surviving Spouse of the Deceased

If the court has not appointed an executor, administrator or personal representative, then a surviving spouse may seek payment under one of the following three (3) scenarios:

  1. If there is a community property agreement between the deceased and the surviving spouse that meets the requirements of RCW 26.16.120, then:

    The agency may pay the total of the deceased’s pay or that portion governed by the community property agreement to the surviving spouse.

  1. Certified copy of the deceased employee’s death certificate.
  2. Copy of the community property agreement between the deceased employee and his or her surviving spouse.
  3. Certified copy of the marriage license.
  4. Completed Claim of Indebtedness of State of Washington to Deceased Employees form. Either the affidavit or declaration format is acceptable.
  5. An IRS W-9 providing either the estate’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or the individual’s social security number (SSN).
 
  1. If no community property agreement exists, then the agency may pay up to $12,000 once the surviving spouse has completed a Claim for Indebtedness form.
  1. Certified copy of the deceased employee’s death certificate.
  2. Certified copy of the marriage license.
  3. Completed Claim of Indebtedness of State of Washington to Deceased Employees form. Either the affidavit or declaration format is acceptable.
  4. An IRS W-9 providing either the estate’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or the individual’s social security number (SSN).
 
  1. If no community property agreement exists and the surviving spouse has completed the Claim for Indebtedness form but the amount owed the deceased employee is above $12,000, the agency may not pay the amount owed the deceased employee in excess of $12,000 unless:
    1. The requirement of Option D are followed for estates less than $100,000; or
    2. A personal representative for the deceased employee’s estate has been appointed.

NOTE: The State cannot use the beneficiary designation in deceased employee’s wills by which to process disbursements.

  1. Certified copy of the deceased employee’s death certificate.
  2. Other documents as appropriate.
  3. An IRS Form W-9 providing either the estate’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or the individual’s social security number (SSN).
 

OPTION C – Other Relative Claimants – Children or Parents of the Deceased

The agency may pay the amount owed the deceased employee up to $12,000 to the surviving child or children or if there are no children, then to the surviving parent or parents of the deceased employee under the following circumstances:

  1. No executor, administrator or personal representative of the estate has been appointed;
  2. The claimant has completed a Claim for Indebtedness form
  1. Certified copy of the deceased employee’s death certificate.
  2. Completed Claim for Indebtedness of State of Washington to Deceased Employees form.
  3. An IRS Form W-9 providing either the estate’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or the individual’s social security number (SSN).
 

OPTION D – Estates $100,000 or Under

For estates valued at $100,000 or less, RCW 11.62 allows an estate to be distributed upon the presentation of an affidavit. If the agency is presented with an affidavit meeting all the requirements of RCW 11.62.020, it shall pay the total amount owed (the $10,000 limit does not apply) the deceased to the beneficiary who has completed the affidavit. See SAAM 25.70.30 for the specific requirements of the affidavit. The applicable statues are attached.

  1. Certified copy of the deceased employee’s death certificate.
  2. Original Affidavit (as relates to RCW 11.62.010-.020). Mail affidavit as instructed by the agency.
  3. An IRS Form W-9 providing either the estate’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or the individual’s social security number (SSN).
 

 

Forms for Downloading

 
 
Payroll Services, PO Box 641024, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1024, 509-335-9575, Contact Us
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