An employer may pay all wages owed to a deceased employee up to $25,000 under the following circumstances:
• At least 60 days have passed since the employee's death; and
• No one has applied for appointment or been appointed by the court to serve as executor or administrator of the estate.
The wages may be paid to any successor (VA Code Sec. 64.2-602). A successor is any person, other than a creditor, who is entitled to all or part of the deceased employee's estate. Any payment made by the employer will constitute full discharge of the sum paid.
Thirty days after the employee's death, if no personal representative has been appointed, a successor may direct the employer to pay any wages owed to the entity handling the funeral arrangements, up to a maximum of $4,000 (VA Code Sec. 64.2-604).
An employer should contact the circuit court of the county in which the employee resided at the time of death if there are questions about the distribution of a payment or if the amount owed exceeds $25,000.