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Alternatives to Probate: Collecting a Final Paycheck

Is Probate always necessary?

To collect a final paycheck there is a simple and inexpensive way to do it. Many of us have all been there before. A loved one has died and you are the one to handle their estate.

Probate is a process that is necessary in many cases. The Texas Estates Code provides for an inexpensive procedure for a surviving spouse to collect the final paycheck of the deceased spouse by the execution of an affidavit when there is no administration pending of the deceased spouse’s estate.

If the deceased person’s only asset is an unpaid final paycheck, the process of collection by probate is unnecessary. The Texas Estates Code provides for an inexpensive procedure for a surviving spouse to collect the final paycheck of the deceased spouse by the execution of an affidavit when there is no administration pending of the deceased spouse’s estate. In order to exercise this option, the spouse must first determine that the employer is not covered by a state workers’ compensation law. For example, federal employees are not covered by state workers’ compensation laws and are eligible to use this procedure.

How to Collect a Final Paycheck

If a bank account is the only asset of an estate, probate may not be required. The rules regarding whether or not a decedent’s final paycheck is exempt from administration are based on the Texas Estates Code. Under the Texas Estates Code, a final paycheck is exempt from administration if it meets all of the following criteria:

1. The decedent was domiciled in Texas at the time of death (Texas is the state in which he/she had his/her permanent legal residence);

2. The decedent’s employer is located in Texas;

3. No administration has been commenced on the decedent’s estate; and

4. The check represents wages for services performed within three months prior to date of death.

The affidavit for collection of a final paycheck must be filed with the clerk of court in the county where the person died. The affidavit may be filed by any person having an interest in the property or an attorney in fact for that person, except that if there is an executor or administrator appointed or qualified, then the affidavit must be filed by that person or by his/her attorney-in-fact.


The Texas law provides for an inexpensive procedure for a surviving spouse to collect the final paycheck of the deceased spouse by the execution of an affidavit when there is no administration pending of the deceased spouse’s estate.

Do You Need a Probate Attorney to Settle an Estate in El Paso, Texas?

Have you lost a loved one and have no idea how to proceed? Our local Texas attorneys can help you through the probate process. A good probate attorney will guide you through every step of the process from beginning to end. Hire an experienced probate lawyer in the El Paso metro area or in the surrounding communities. Contact us on our homepage, and don’t forget to ask about our Free 30-minute probate attorney consultation. From first steps to final distribution, we handle the entire probate process for you.

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Related Questions:

What happens if a will is not probated in Texas?

If a person dies without a valid will, Texas has laws in place to determine how their estate will be distributed. For example, Texas law requires that the estate goes to the spouse, if any. When there is no spouse, it goes to the children in equal shares. If there are no children or spouse, then it may go to the parents in equal shares, or if both parents are dead then it may go to the grandparents. However, there are instances where the laws of intestacy do not apply. In some cases, the laws of intestacy will not apply. For example, if the deceased person owned property in another state, that state’s laws would govern how the property is distributed. Additionally, if the deceased person had certain types of property, such as a life insurance policy or retirement account, that name beneficiaries, those beneficiaries would receive the property regardless of whether or not there was a valid will in place.

Can you settle an estate without probate in Texas?

The answer is “yes”. It may be possible for people to transfer assets quickly and easily as part of a probate avoidance strategy. Approaches vary from state to state, but many of them are faster and less expensive than going through the probate process.

In 2010, Texas changed its law governing the probate process to streamline the process and eliminate the need for some larger estates to go through probate. This change is known as “Probate Express” or “Self-proving Affidavit.” The new law expanded the types of assets that could be covered through probate express/self-proving affidavit. It also reduced the number of hearings associated with probate express and changed the procedure for determining what could be included through probate express.

Since the law change in 2010, it has been possible for people to transfer assets quickly and easily without having to go through probate. This is especially beneficial for those with larger estates who would otherwise have to go through the more lengthy and expensive process. The 2013 legislature changed the law again, making it even easier for people to take advantage of this probate avoidance strategy. There are a few reasons why somebody might want to avoid probate. The first reason is that it can be expensive. Attorney fees, court costs, and executor fees can all add up. The second reason is that it can be time-consuming. Probate can take months or even years to complete. Finally, probate is a matter of public record. This means that anybody who wants to can look at the details of your estate and see how much money you have, what property you own, etc.

For people who want to keep their affairs private, avoiding probate is a good option. There are a few different ways to do this. One way is to set up a living trust. With a living trust, you transfer ownership of your assets into the trust while you’re alive. Then, when you die, the trustee—the person you’ve chosen to manage the trust—can distribute those assets according to your instructions without having to go through probate court.

Another way to avoid probate is through joint ownership of assets with someone else. This could be done by putting assets in both your name and your spouse’s name or by setting up something called tenants in common where each person owns a percentage of an asset jointly with other people.. For example, if two people own a house as joint tenants with right of survivorship and one dies, the other becomes the sole owner automatically—without having to go through probate court.

Does an executor have to show accounting to beneficiaries in Texas?

Probate attorneys are often asked this question. The answer is no, not if there is no dispute between the executor and the beneficiaries. Many times, if there is a trust involved in the estate, an accounting is required by the terms of the trust. If a trust was not involved, but an executor is handling assets of a decedent, the executor may be required by the probate court to account if a beneficiary files an accounting petition with the court.

The only reason an estate even has to go through probate is if there is a Will and the Will has not been followed exactly as written or if there is no Will at all. Since there are certain boxes that must be checked off in the probate process (home inventory, appraisal, etc.), it makes sense that an accounting is also required. It sounds like you have a very comfort level with your chosen executor, so I’d say to trust his/her judgement on this one.

How do you process final pay for a deceased employee in Texas?

Final pay is a tricky thing. How do you quickly and legally process final pay for a deceased employee? This is a question that comes up frequently. In Texas, there are no laws or regulations that govern final pay. However, there are two ways to handle paying the employee: through the Texas Payroll Tax Form – Form SP3, or through an insurance provider, such as TPAF.

The first step in paying the final paycheck is to figure out the amount of taxes. We must have an accurate gross salary to calculate these taxes. This is why it is important to know if your employee has already paid their own taxes on the income. If they have already paid, you will receive a W-2 from their employer with all the information you need to determine your state and federal payroll tax deduction. Your employee’s gross salary will be calculated on Form SP3 for your state and federal payroll taxes along with any county taxes you may have. If your employee worked in multiple states during the course of their employment, you will need to figure out the final pay for each state. You will use Form SP3 to calculate the gross salary and taxes for each state. Once you have calculated the gross salary and taxes for each state, you will add them together to get the total amount of final pay due to the employee.

The next step is to determine how you will pay the employee. There are two options: through an insurance provider or directly from your company. If you choose to pay through an insurance provider, they will issue a check directly to the employee. If you choose to pay directly from your company, you will need to write a check yourself and deliver it to the employee.

Once you have determined how you will pay the employee, you need to fill out a W-9 form. This form provides information about the recipient of payments from your company. The W-9 form must be filled out completely and accurately in order for payments to be processed correctly.

After filling out the necessary forms, calculating gross salary and taxes, and determining how you will pay the employee, you are ready to process final pay!

How to probate a will in Texas?

Probate a will, or trust in Texas is not very difficult for most families. The process being what it is, a will, or a trust is the best way to have property distributed after you die. There’s no way around it. It’s the law, and most people accept it will be done regardless of their feelings on the matter. Often times family members find themselves disagreeing with the terms of the will, or not receiving what they believe they’re entitled to, but they do it anyway because they understand that it’s in their best interest. This also happens when someone passes away and didn’t have a will.

If you’re wondering how to probate a will in Texas, the process is actually not too difficult. In fact, for most families, probating a will or trust is simply a matter of following the law. While there may be times when family members don’t agree with the terms of the will or don’t receive what they believe they’re entitled to, it’s still in their best interest to go through with the process. After all, without a valid will or trust in place, distributing property after someone passes away can become complicated very quickly.

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