When an employee dies, employers must pay up to $5,000 in unpaid wages or other compensation for personal services to the employee's surviving spouse (AZ Rev. Stat. Sec. 14-3971). Before payment is made, the spouse must present an affidavit to the employer stating that:
• He or she is the surviving spouse or is authorized to act on the spouse's behalf.
• No application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted, or, if granted, the personal representative has been discharged or more than 1 year has elapsed since a closing statement has been filed.
The superior courts of Arizona process probate cases and can provide employers with general probate information. Employers that are uncertain about legal requirements regarding payment of a deceased employee's wages should contact the clerk of the local superior court.
Reviewed August 2015.