Under Indiana law, the surviving spouse of a decedent is entitled to a $25,000 statutory allowance that may be taken from the decedent's personal property (IN Code Sec. 29-1-4-1). Personal property generally includes wages owed to the decedent's estate by an employer. Employers should require documentation to verify that a claimant is authorized by the probate court to receive the wage payment.
If there is no surviving spouse, the decedent's minor children are entitled to equal shares of the same allowance. However, payments for the benefit of minors are typically made to a court-appointed guardian.
Employers that have questions about payments to surviving family members should contact the local probate court.