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How does the payment of wages work after death?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2022 | Estate Planning |

When your loved one dies, the last thing on your mind is likely collecting his or her last paycheck. But eventually, you will need to get those wages, which can create problems if you are still dealing with probate.

Luckily, Ohio law outlines what should happen in the case of a person’s death with his or her last wages and money owed from an employer.

Money owed

It is important when collecting the last payment from an employer that you ensure you get everything due. If your loved one had unpaid vacation or sick time, the employer must pay that out when paying the last wages due. You want to ensure you get all the money.


You do not need to have any type of documentation to get the wage payment. The only time you must have something from the court is if the payment will be for more than $5,000. In that case, you may need letters of testamentary or letters of administration. You may need to show your identification so the employer can verify who you are before handing over the money.


The law assigns permission to who may pick up the last wage payment. The first person who has the right is the spouse. If there is no spouse, then a child over the age of 18 may pick it up. Lacking a spouse or adult child, the parents have the right. Anyone outside of this list will likely need to go through the court to get access to the wages.

The bottom line is that if your husband or wife dies and has a paycheck coming, you should be able to get it without hassle.

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