The Colorado Wage Law requires an employer to pay wages and compensation due an employee at the time of death to the deceased employee's surviving spouse if no personal representative of the employee's estate has been appointed (CO Rev. Stat. Sec. 8-4-109 (4)). If there is no surviving spouse, the employer may pay the deceased employee's next legal heir when requested by the heir.
Note: If a personal representative has been appointed to the deceased employee's estate and requests payment, the employer must pay the representative. The request of the personal representative takes priority over payment to the surviving spouse or legal heir. An employer should not make payment to a surviving spouse or legal heir if the employer knows that a personal representative has been appointed.
Proof of relationship. An employer must require proof by affidavit of a claimant's relationship to the deceased employee. The claimant must acknowledge in writing the receipt of any payment from the employer.
Discharge of liability. If an employer makes payment in accordance with legal requirements, it is discharged from liability to the decedent's estate for any payments made.