Wisconsin Death of Employee: What you need to know

When an employee dies, any wages owed by the employer may be paid on demand to the deceased employee's family members in the following order of preference:
• Spouse or domestic partner
• Children
• Parents
• Brothers and sisters
The employer may not make the payment until 5 days after the employee's death, but is not required to wait for authorization from the probate court (WI Stat. Sec. 109.03(3)).
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If no family members have survived the deceased employee, the employer may make the wage payment to creditors of the deceased employee in the order of preference required by state probate law. Payment constitutes a discharge and release of the employer's obligations, up to the amount of the payment (WI Stat. Sec. 109.03(3)).
There is additional practical information about death of a co-worker, grief management, and coping with loss of a family member.
Last reviewed on February 24, 2017.

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