In lieu of filing an application for admission of a will to probate or letters of administration, a decedent's surviving spouse or, if there is no spouse, the next of kin are permitted under state law to file an affidavit that all debts of the decedent have been paid and that the total value of the property in the estate is less than $40,000. If the probate court approves, it issues a decree that authorizes those holding property (e.g., an employer holding unpaid wages) to release the property to the person or entity named in the decree (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 45a-273). Employers that have questions about releasing unpaid wages should contact the local probate court.
Reviewed August 2015.