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When an Employee Dies: How to Navigate Business and Personal Needs During the Most Difficult of Times - On-Demand

When an Employee Dies: How to Navigate Business and Personal Needs During the Most Difficult of Times - On-Demand

Product Code: YEWA112019A

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When an Employee Dies: How to Navigate Business and Personal Needs During the Most Difficult of Times - On-Demand

Webinar now available On-Demand.

WEBINAR SNAPSHOT: Learn what to do—and not do—when an employee dies concerning communication, benefits, final pay, and more.


Whether an employee dies suddenly or succumbs to a long battle with illness, the result is the same: A tremendous feeling of loss and sadness for his or her coworkers and a need for the business to go on.

To ensure that the situation is handled with dignity and care, employers should be educated on the right and wrong ways to communicate the news, manage the employee’s final pay and benefits, and address other important issues.

Use this on-demand webinar on how to get through this difficult time by learning how to provide helpful support to your workforce and the employee’s family and avoid legal mistakes concerning final pay, benefits administration, and other matters.

You’ll learn:

  • The essential question to ask the employee’s family to answer, so their wishes are respected
  • How to navigate claim for benefits issues that may arise under your applicable insurance policies, such as those applicable to:
    • COBRA
    • Life insurance
    • Flexible spending accounts
    • Accidental death and dismemberment
    • Retirement plans
    • Workers’ compensation death benefits
  • Salary, wage, or paid time off issues HR should be prepared to deal with, and how to handle the employee’s final paycheck, including answers to questions like:
    • Should we make the check payable to his or her spouse or other beneficiaries?
    • How can we tell if the check should be made out to his or her estate?
    • Who are we authorized to release the final paycheck to and what proof should we require them to provide us with before giving it to them?
  • Who within the organization should be the first to know and how to break the news to them
  • How to communicate the value employee assistance programs can bring to help the workforce cope with the death of a coworker
  •  Best practices for managing a deceased worker’s relationship with clients, customers, or suppliers
  • What to do about company property, such as laptops, cell phones, keys, company credit cards, or uniforms
  • Tips for re-distributing the deceased employee’s work and why posting an ad for his or her job immediately is generally a bad idea

About Your Presenters

Jana Luttenegger WeilerJana Luttenegger Weiler, Esq.
Davis Brown 

Jana L. Weiler is a shareholder with Davis Brown. She helps individuals, families, and nonprofit and charitable organizations with estate planning, administration of estates and trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships. She also assists businesses and organizations with ERISA compliance and employee retirement benefits.

Weiler assists individuals and families with transferring wealth in various stages of life, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. This includes assistance in nominating individuals to handle financial matters, coordinating beneficiary designations with the estate plan, determining whether probate avoidance is appropriate, and planning for an unexpected life event.

She also helps families plan for the care of children if parents die prematurely. This includes establishing and maintaining guardianships and conservatorships for minors or individuals unable to handle their own affairs. Jana regularly helps clients and their families after the death of a loved one, whether through advising during a formal probate and/or trust administration or assisting with informal administration.

Weiler also counsels beneficiaries regarding their role and rights in a trust or estate administration and collaborates with Davis Brown litigation attorneys in the event of fiduciary litigation.

She is a member of the firm’s Retirement Committee, helping Davis Brown with employee benefits. She previously coordinated the firm’s Summer Associate program - helping the interning law students with mentorships, coordinating and reviewing their substantive legal work, and organizing networking events.

Breanna Young Breanna L. Young, Esq.
Davis Brown

Breanna Young is an estate planning attorney with over 10 years of experience assisting farmers, individuals, families, and small businesses with planning for the future. Individuals with modest to vast estates, including large family farms, rely on her guidance as they develop succession plans, including complex estate planning documents, sell assets to trusts, establish businesses (entity formations and buy-sell agreements), and otherwise optimize their estate planning. She has assisted clients with premarital agreements, charitable giving planning, grantor trusts, GRATs, charitable trusts, QTIP trusts, and limited-liability companies, among other vehicles. She also represents fiduciaries in administering estates, trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships.

Young is a compassionate and understanding advocate, advising same-sex couples and gender nonconforming individuals in their estate planning, organizing and planning for succession of businesses, and tax planning. For transgender individuals, she guides clients through legal name changes, and the resulting changes needed on governmental documents, including birth certificates and Social Security cards.

Young prepares annual income tax returns for her individual and business clients. She also helps them understand the tax implications of potential business strategies, contracts, and entity choice. She frequently collaborates with clients’ CPAs and financial advisors to formulate and implement tax planning strategies.