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Outstanding Wages Beneficiary Designation

Oklahoma law regulates wages owed to deceased employees in terms of the amount employers can pay before the employee's estate is administered, who the wages may be paid to, the amount they can recieve and the conditions that must be met before payment can be issued.

The University of Oklahoma offers its employees the option of designating a beneficiary to receive the employee’s final check in the event of an employee’s death while employed by the university.

If you choose to name a beneficiary, you must complete the Outstanding Wages Beneficiary Designation Form, see Outstanding Wages Beneficiary Designation Form below, and submit to Payroll & Employee Services. If you wish to change your beneficiary in the future, you will need to complete and submit a new Outstanding Wages Designation Form. For example, if you designate your spouse and are later divorced, you may want to complete a new form.

If you designate more than one person as a primary or contingent beneficiary, the payment will be divided equally among them.

Primary Beneficiary: Receives priority distribution upon the employee’s death.  Payment will be divided equally among all individuals listed as a primary beneficiary.
Contingent Beneficiary: Receives distribution only if the primary beneficiary(ies) are deceased at the time of the employee’s death.  Payment will be divided equally among all individuasl listed as contingent beneficiary.

If an employee does not elect to name a beneficiary, the University’s payroll office will issue the employee’s final paycheck, including any pay for unused annual/vacation leave, in accordance with Title 40, O.S., Section 165.3a, Payment of wages to surviving spouse and children. Please be advised that if your final check is processed without the naming of a beneficiary, your surviving spouse - or if there is no surviving spouse - your dependent children, or their guardians or the conservators of their estates, will receive in equal shares a total up to the maximum $3,000 allowed by law. Any remaining payment would go into the estate and go through probate. Please be advised that access to the funds processed to an estate may be delayed due to the probate process.