Code Section Group

Probate Code - PROB

DIVISION 8. DISPOSITION OF ESTATE WITHOUT ADMINISTRATION [13000 - 13660]

  ( Division 8 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

PART 2. PASSAGE OF PROPERTY TO SURVIVING SPOUSE WITHOUT ADMINISTRATION [13500 - 13660]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

CHAPTER 4. Collection by Affidavit of Compensation Owed to Deceased Spouse [13600 - 13606]
  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

13600.
  

(a) At any time after a spouse dies, the surviving spouse or the guardian or conservator of the estate of the surviving spouse may, without procuring letters of administration or awaiting probate of the will, collect salary or other compensation owed by an employer for personal services of the deceased spouse, including compensation for unused vacation, not in excess of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) net.

(b) Not more than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) net in the aggregate may be collected by or for the surviving spouse under this chapter from all of the employers of the decedent.

(c) For the purposes of this chapter, a guardian or conservator of the estate of the surviving spouse may act on behalf of the surviving spouse without authorization or approval of the court in which the guardianship or conservatorship proceeding is pending.

(d) The fifteen-thousand-dollar ($15,000) net limitation set forth in subdivisions (a) and (b) does not apply to the surviving spouse or the guardian or conservator of the estate of the surviving spouse of a firefighter or peace officer described in subdivision (a) of Section 22820 of the Government Code.

(e) On January 1, 2003, and on January 1 of each year thereafter, the maximum net amount of salary or compensation payable under subdivisions (a) and (b) to the surviving spouse or the guardian or conservator of the estate of the surviving spouse may be adjusted to reflect any increase in the cost of living occurring after January 1 of the immediately preceding year. The United States city average of the “Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers,” as published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, shall be used as the basis for determining the changes in the cost of living. The cost-of-living increase shall equal or exceed 1 percent before any adjustment is made. The net amount payable may not be decreased as a result of the cost-of-living adjustment.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 50, Sec. 90. (SB 1005) Effective January 1, 2017.)

13601.
  

(a) To collect salary or other compensation under this chapter, an affidavit or a declaration under penalty of perjury under the laws of this state shall be furnished to the employer of the deceased spouse stating all of the following:

(1) The name of the decedent.

(2) The date and place of the decedent’s death.

(3) Either of the following, as appropriate:

(A) “The affiant or declarant is the surviving spouse of the decedent.”

(B) “The affiant or declarant is the guardian or conservator of the estate of the surviving spouse of the decedent.”

(4) “The surviving spouse of the decedent is entitled to the earnings of the decedent under the decedent’s will or by intestate succession and no one else has a superior right to the earnings.”

(5) “No proceeding is now being or has been conducted in California for administration of the decedent’s estate.”

(6) “Sections 13600 to 13605, inclusive, of the California Probate Code require that the earnings of the decedent, including compensation for unused vacation, not in excess of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) net, be paid promptly to the affiant or declarant.”

(7) “Neither the surviving spouse, nor anyone acting on behalf of the surviving spouse, has a pending request to collect compensation owed by another employer for personal services of the decedent under Sections 13600 to 13605, inclusive, of the California Probate Code.”

(8) “Neither the surviving spouse, nor anyone acting on behalf of the surviving spouse, has collected any compensation owed by an employer for personal services of the decedent under Sections 13600 to 13605, inclusive, of the California Probate Code except the sum of ____ dollars ($____) which was collected from ____.”

(9) “The affiant or declarant requests that he or she be paid the salary or other compensation owed by you for personal services of the decedent, including compensation for unused vacation, not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) net, less the amount of ____ dollars ($____) which was previously collected.”

(10) “The affiant or declarant affirms or declares under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.”

(b) Reasonable proof of the identity of the surviving spouse shall be provided to the employer. If a guardian or conservator is acting for the surviving spouse, reasonable proof of the identity of the guardian or conservator shall also be provided to the employer. Proof of identity that is sufficient under Section 13104 is sufficient proof of identity for the purposes of this subdivision.

(c) If a person presenting the affidavit or declaration is a person claiming to be the guardian or conservator of the estate of the surviving spouse, the employer shall be provided with reasonable proof, satisfactory to the employer, of the appointment of the person to act as guardian or conservator of the estate of the surviving spouse.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 117, Sec. 11. (AB 1305) Effective January 1, 2012.)

13602.
  

If the requirements of Section 13600 are satisfied, the employer to whom the affidavit or declaration is presented shall promptly pay the earnings of the decedent, including compensation for unused vacation, not in excess of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) net, to the person presenting the affidavit or declaration.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 117, Sec. 12. (AB 1305) Effective January 1, 2012.)

13603.
  

If the requirements of Section 13601 are satisfied, receipt by the employer of the affidavit or declaration constitutes sufficient acquittance for the compensation paid pursuant to this chapter and discharges the employer from any further liability with respect to the compensation paid. The employer may rely in good faith on the statements in the affidavit or declaration and has no duty to inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit or declaration.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

13604.
  

(a) If the employer refuses to pay as required by this chapter, the surviving spouse may recover the amount the surviving spouse is entitled to receive under this chapter in an action brought for that purpose against the employer.

(b) If an action is brought against the employer under this section, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the surviving spouse if the court finds that the employer acted unreasonably in refusing to pay as required by this chapter.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

13605.
  

(a) Nothing in this chapter limits the rights of the heirs or devisees of the deceased spouse. Payment of a decedent’s compensation pursuant to this chapter does not preclude later proceedings for administration of the decedent’s estate.

(b) Any person to whom payment is made under this chapter is answerable and accountable therefor to the personal representative of the decedent’s estate and is liable for the amount of the payment to any other person having a superior right to the payment received. In addition to any other liability the person has under this section, a person who fraudulently secures a payment under this chapter is liable to a person having a superior right to the payment for three times the amount of the payment.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

13606.
  

The procedure provided in this chapter is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other method of collecting compensation owed to a decedent.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

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