Hopefully, none of our readers will need to use this advice any time soon. Knock on wood. But the passing of relatives and friends is an unavoidable part of life that we all must face now and again. Along with putting an obituary in the paper and planning a funeral, there are some important financial steps to take when someone close to you dies.
It is a wise move to notify the credit bureaus so they can put a death notice on the person’s credit report. This helps prevent identity thieves from using their credit history. In order to place this request you will need to mail a copy of the person’s death certificate to each of the three bureaus at these addresses:
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
You should also contact any financial institutions that the deceased had accounts with. Credit cards, loans, savings accounts, investment accounts and more will all need to be notified. The best method is usually to call the general customer service number. If that doesn’t work, try contacting the fraud and identity theft center for assistance. When credit cards are closed, the balance should be paid by the estate.
TIAA-CREF has a great series of articles that cover everything you’ll need to do when someone close to you passes away. If you have an experience or tip you would like to share, please post your feedback in the comments section below.