Protect a Deceased Loved One from ID Theft
Jackie here. The days and weeks after a loved one passes away are often very difficult for family members and friends. While you’re mourning, many identity thieves are busy capitalizing on your deceased relative’s credit. What can you do to prevent ID theft after the death of a loved one? Here are some tips:
Contact the Credit Bureaus
After a loved one dies, you’ll need to take a few steps to shut down their credit and lock up their identity. Contact each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) as quickly as possible and let them know about the death. The Social Security Administration will eventually do this, but it can take months and thieves often act quickly.
If you’re the executor of the estate, a spouse, or a child, write the credit bureaus and enclose a copy of the death certificate to ensure that no new credit can be issued in the person’s name. You’ll also need to provide proof that you’re the executor or that you have the legal right to act on behalf of the deceased in this matter. Certified letters are the best choice.
You’ll also want to get in touch with all of the deceased’s creditors. This will start the process of closing their accounts and settling up with the estate. If your loved one has been receiving Social Security, you’ll want to contact the Social Security Administration to ensure that benefits are stopped.